Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Feast of the Presentation
Luke 2:22-40 

Simeon took him [Jesus] in his arms and praised God, saying, "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all  people…”

How important do you think you are?  I hope you think you’re important. 

I hope you let those around you know that they are important too.  We spend a great deal of time as parents, spouses, employers, care-givers, older brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts showing the people around us that they are important.  It would be a hard message indeed to tell somebody that they weren’t important – that they didn’t matter – except we do also need to let people know – especially our young people - that they aren’t the centre of the universe.  Their individual importance can, and indeed sometimes must, take second place to larger projects and a larger story.

Small particles are attracted to large bodies.  We call that gravity. 

And, after all, aren’t our treasured attributes oftentimes inherited?   They’re not, then, completely our own.  We glean things from teachers, we share our mother’s sense of
humour, our parents’ DNA.  We are creatures of our culture and age and so the thing that is us in a sense isn’t completely us or at least isn’t completely our own possession

Maybe we get that point when we’re very old – like Simeon or Anna in this Sunday’s Gospel reading - and learn to lean away from ourselves into something better.   We got bored with our own importance long ago.  We have been waiting for a long time to see something which is not us and is not ours but is nonetheless beautiful and promising.  It is so wonderful that it can never be owned even by the holiest of men and women.  We hold that child in our arms and think that, yes, we could die today.  What we have in our own curriculum vitae doesn’t hold a candle to what the Spirit of God is about in the world, to what God has done in the birth of this child, and it is enough to have witnessed it and to tell others about it.

Proclaim the importance of the people around you.  Help the little ones you raise and the people you care for gather to themselves the sense of self-worth which is requisite and necessary in this life.  But in the full flower of your maturity do cultivate that ability to let it slip to the side in the presence of things which are bigger and better than you can ever hope to be.