A question to think about if you get bored by what I am saying!
A look now at the people involved in the scene in today's Gospel Reading from St. Luke chapter 2, verses 22 - 39. If we look carefully we will find clues to the answer to my question.
MARY:- The mother of the babe. Come for 'purification' after the shedding of blood in childbirth. See Leviticus 12, verses 2 - 8. The offering of 'two young pigeons' was the poor people's offering for the purification after childbirth.
JOSEPH:- The babe's 'father'. 'Step-father'? 'Foster-father'?
SIMEON:- "The Holy Spirit was upon him". A gift of prophecy given for the occasion. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to be in the Temple at the very moment that the babe was brought in.
ANNA:- An old woman of at least 84. A 'prophetess' in the right place at the right time!
So, let's put them together.
The 'Presentation of Jesus' was about an offering (5 shekels of silver - Exodus 13, verse 2: 13, verses 12 - 16: 22, verse 29: 34, verse 20: Numbers 3, verses 46 - 47: 18, verses 15 - 16.
The redemption of the first-born was to be kept as a remembrance that - "By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage. For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of cattle. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all males that first open the womb; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem." Exodus 13, verses 14 - 15.
Candlemas then has a direct link to the redemption of God's people. A direct link to the 'passover lamb' slain and its blood smeared on the door posts and lintel of all the dwellings of the people of Israel.
So, what is the answer to the question 'How much are you worth?'.
Here it is:-
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