Today’s Reading: Purification of Mary and Presentation of Our Lord
Daily Lectionary: Zech. 12:1-13:9, Titus 1:1-2:6
…as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord” (Luke 2:23)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. On this day, 40 days after Christmas, Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus from Bethlehem to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him before the LORD. There is a beautiful meaning behind this day. We can understand it better when we think of 5 sons.
The First son is Israel. Israel had been cruelly enslaved by the Egyptians. They cried to God for help and God sent Moses to deliver them. God’s message to Pharaoh was that Israel was God’s son, so Egypt should let Israel go. If not, Egypt would lose their firstborn son. (Exodus 4:22,23)
The Second son is the firstborn of Egypt. God sent 10 plagues against Egypt to convince them to let Israel go. The 10th plague happened in conjunction with the Passover (Exodus 13). On that night, God provided the blood of the Passover lamb so that death passed over the children of Israel. Where there was no blood on the doorposts, the angel of death took the firstborn son of the household. After this, Egypt let Israel go. Israel rejoiced to be free, but the grief in Egypt was unmeasurable.
The Third son is all the firstborn sons of Israel. Because God delivered Israel from Egypt at the cost of the death of the firstborn sons of Egypt, now all firstborn sons among the Israelites belonged to God. They would not be sacrificed but would be redeemed by an offering. Each firstborn son was a living reminder that one day God would send the Messiah to deliver the world from sin.
The Fourth Son is Jesus. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God from eternity. He is also the firstborn son of Mary, the son who opened her womb. As the firstborn, He was consecrated to the LORD. (Gal 4:4-5). God would redeem the world from slavery to sin, death, and hell. He gave His own Son to die on the cross as the sacrifice that gives peace. What incredible love that He would do that for us!
The Fifth son is all the baptized. You are washed in the blood of Christ in Baptism and God adopts you as His child in Christ (1 John 3:1). The victory Jesus won is given to you by grace through faith. You live in this world as one who is set free, as one who is walking with Jesus to the Promised Land of heaven. All the baptized are set apart to belong to God by the grace of Jesus the Holy Son of God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and ever-living God, as Your only begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, grant that we may be presented to You with pure and clean hearts; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Pastor Jeffrey Horn is Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA,
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.