The Story told by the Church through February begins in the first Sunday of February with the Presentation of Jesus the first born son in the Temple, and just forty days after his birth the Gospel sets the scene for us of Mary Joseph and Jesus meeting with Simeon and Anna, these Temple faithful.
Simeon sees in Jesus a light for all peoples, and prophet Anna's praise speaks of Jesus' work to redeem Jerusalem – from Luke's Gospel, chapter 2 verse 22.
There are many journey's begun in the story of Jesus’ Nativity. Last month I was pleased to journey south to another rural group of parishes to see the beginning of a new ministry for one of my theological college colleagues and his family.
It was an unexpected delight to find myself sharing my pew with two other colleagues from the same college, and then after the service to meet up with three more, as well hear news of those who had influenced us all so much – our teachers.
As we shared our news my mention that benefice's in our Diocese commonly had groupings of half a dozen parishes or more was greeted with some surprise.
The new benefice priest when placed in their stall offered the call to worship which was received enthusiastically, it was most affirming for all of us that our gathering in worship is still so highly valued.
Of course you will all be familiar with rapid change for the Church of England's mission and ministry, as retirements among the baby boom generation of clergy comes about. Of course today's generation still give themselves in vocations, as my college re-unions reminded, it is just that there are fewer from whom to raise the call. No longer then may Anglicanism's focus for local mission be expected with the priesthood, but with the local fellowship themselves. Not a Parson in every place but a person of God, as those faithful Simeon and Anna, so today's to speak of light and redeeming.
Anna saw in Jesus the redeeming of Jerusalem, Simeon the people's light, so in this day the redeeming life and light for our peoples may be seen in the priesthood of all believers, all who follow would Christ.
I pray our churches with their fellowships may truly be guiding lights for our journeys of life and that the brightening of our season may reveal that light for all who look to share their story with ours.
Rev'd Brin Singleton