Tag Archives: The Presentation in the Temple

Not/Seeing God’s salvation (Christmas 1B, 28 December 2014)

Luke 2.22–40

Good morning all, and welcome to the Temple. You look like rich travellers with those…er, interesting erm, clothes…and those, what do you call them—iPads?

Forgive me for being rude. My name is Phinehas, and I’ll be your guide today. I’m a Sadducee here in the Temple of Jerusalem. You’ve heard of us Sadducees? Oh…you haven’t? I’m amazed! Your minister can’t have been doing a very good job then, that’s all I can say. You can tell him I said that!

Well, I have a lot of important jobs here at the Temple, I won’t bore you with what they are, but I always have time for rich travellers. The Temple’s coffers are very low in these unfortunate days, so low we’re thinking of introducing a seven shekel copayment for people who need prayer. So if you wanted to give a copayment, or even a large donation, I’d make sure it went to a good home…

No, you don’t like that idea? Ok…so what can I show you? The Temple is such a grand place, it covers over fourteen hectares! You can’t see it all in one day, you’d need a whole week to do it justice.

Now, if you’ll just follow me… Sorry, what’s that?  You want to know who those scruffy two old people over by the gate are? What a strange question. But it’s interesting you should ask…

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Waiting, hoping, looking (First Sunday of Christmas, Year B, 1 January 2012)

Waiting, hoping, looking

Galatians 4.4-7
Luke 2.22-40

It must have been an ordinary enough scene. A young couple come to the temple in Jerusalem, forty days after the birth of her firstborn son. They were obviously a devout couple, a couple who obeyed the Law of Moses, which said:

Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord.

They’d been taught that since the time of the first Passover, the firstborn son had belonged to the Lord; they were required to offer sacrifice to redeem their son, to buy him back, from the Lord.

But this particular man and woman were also quite poor. If they could afford it, they would bring a lamb and a pigeon or turtledove to the temple. But those who couldn’t afford a lamb were allowed to bring two birds. Mary and Joseph brought two birds.

An observer would have only seen an observant couple, a poor couple, doing the right thing.

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