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And I'll roll my Lord and Savior a man. So I thought we saw a little bit of humor today. Like we have been prone to doing these jokes involve children, so fortunately they're not here to listen. Discussing the story of Elijah and the false prophets of Baal. Do you guys remember that from Sunday school or from the Old Testament the they the contest that I just sent up set up with a false prophets of Baal never to Walters and there were two bowls and all that other kind of stuff. Okay. Go on Sunday school teacher related that Elijah built an altar put wood on it cut out a steer in pieces and laid it on the Altar and then commanded the people have got to fill for barrels of water and pour it over the older Wright come back to you. Why the teacher at the children with Elijah have water poured over the steer on the older and a little girl said to make the gravy?
Alright, another young girl was asked to play the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness in a church play, but she refused telling the pastor to ask her little brother instead because he'd make a great devil.
Vinyl your Bishop was invited to preach in an Anglican church. We got to think Episcopalian here. All right, I enjoying the rector's family for Sunday dinner after church and their director meeting Pastor small daughter said a person must be very brave to go to church these days. Why do you say that the bishop asked because the child said I heard pop tell Mom that there was a big shot in the Pulpit. The Canon was in the Vestry the choir murder The Anthem and the organist drowned everybody.
All right, take it for what it's worth. We've been doing a lot of conversation about why we do what we do. We talked about the various symbols and colors and obviously you see even though we're still in the Epiphany season. Everything is white. We're not going to review all that cuz we did all that but it's still Epiphany. It's still the life of Jesus is our Focus. But today is a is a festival today is a happy day. Today is a holiday and I will get to that in a few minutes. That's why everything is white last week. What I did was review the early life of Jesus from his birth to the start of his preaching man. I made the point. Hopefully you took it to heart that you also preach when you share your faith in Christ when you share your hope in Christ, you are preaching and people are responding not so much to you. They are responding to him. When you preach when you speak for God when you share your faith you share his word. You share your hope in Christ. It's him that's being responded to and not you and there's a passage I did mention last week and I'm going to mention today to sort of kind of seal that deal Jesus himself said in Luke the Gospel of Luke chapter 10 that whoever listens to you listens to me. Okay, when you're speaking for God, it is actually God speaking through you and if people are listening to you, it's not because you're doing such a great job. Although maybe you are doing a great job. That's kind of not relevant what they're really doing if they listen to you and receive your message is that they're receiving Christ. They're receiving Christ message through you. However, Jesus also said whoever rejects you rejects me. Okay, so please be aware of that and try not to take it personally either way. All right, if you're sharing from the word and people are you know doing this? It's not personally against you maybe just a little bit it's against him ultimately and here's the kicker Jesus also said whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me. Okay, and the flipside would also be true guy who ever listens to me through you then is receiving him who sent me. All right, so that's how that's how that's how this thing works when we're out there in the world. What happen if you did not getting into today when I review the life of Jesus last week, there was one event that I did not mention when he was 40 days old and I didn't mention it intentionally. Not that I forgot. I just decided to wait until today when we would talk about it because today Jesus Is 40 days old because today is 40 days after Christmas. Okay, February 2nd, if it's always February 2nd of December 25th is always Christmas. And so today is called the purification of Mary and the presentation of Jesus. What is that in part of the reason why we don't know too much about that's because February 2nd is not always fall on a Sunday. It just happens to fall on a Sunday this year. So we're going to take a look at that. We're going to take a look at this Festival where we Adorn are canceling Walter with white and and celebrate this. This Feast is Festival of the purification of Mary and the presentation of Jesus.
What is This Racist come from in the Old Testament about what we're celebrating today? First of all, I'm clean for 7 Days on the 8th day. The boy has to be circumcised. When is the 8th day after Easter, but I have to Christmas by the way. Anybody know one. Alright, January one is always the 8th day after Christmas day in January one when the rest of the world is celebrating the new year or maybe getting over their hangovers. What we're doing as Christians are especially as lutherans is we're celebrating the name of Jesus cuz that's the day he was circumcised. That's the day he was named. So January one for us not just New Year's Day January one for us is the circumcision and the name of Jesus. All right. So then the Bible continues the woman must wait 33 days to be purified for her bleeding 7 Days + 33 is then 40 Days by the way, there are very similar rules if you will for a woman after the birth of a daughter. Okay, so, you know, there's no discrimination here. When the days of her purification for a son that's what we're looking at are over. She used to bring to the priest a year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or Dove for the sin offering. That's the way you do that and then he shall offer them before y'all way to make atonement for her and then she will be ceremonially clean. That's what the Bible says. That's that's the protocol. One more point if she cannot afford a lamb she used to bring two dogs or two young pigeons one for the burnt offering and the other for $0.02 offering and in this way the priests will make atonement for her and she will be clean. What did Mary bring remember from what I just read? Okay, we'll get there as a Godly woman then married it according to what God's word said she after 40 days went to Jerusalem through the priest Joseph went with her. They brought Jesus so long they were still staying in Bethlehem. So they travel from bethlehem's and they offered two doves or two pigeons, which tells you what She couldn't afford the lamb. She couldn't afford to offer the lamb because she and Joseph were poor. Kalyan for the two the two birds instead because Joseph was no longer in his shop up there in Nazareth. He was down in Bethlehem staying with relatives for the census right to the taxes. He was not working. He was not engage in this craft. You might have been doing odd jobs, you know here when they're making a little bit of money, but even so when he was engaged in his craft in Nazareth, that doesn't mean that he travel from Nazareth. I'll be down at the Bethlehem with bags of money.
They were poor.
Which tells you what else?
Jesus was born into poverty.
Jesus was not born into a family that was well off in middle of class. Like most of us are or like most of us pretend we are or try to be he was born into poverty. literally and that to me that that adds a whole new meaning in a whole new dimension of understanding and appreciation for the words of Paul that he wrote in 2nd Corinthians chapter 8 verse 9 what he says, you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and hopefully by the grace of God, you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich in heaven yet for our sakes he became poor. Literally his poverty wasn't just simply the fact that he left heaven and came to Earth his poverty was that he was born into a poor family. Literally. Why why did he do this so that we you me through his poverty. might become rich in heaven those words That verse to me takes on a whole new meaning and a whole new facet in light of what we're observing today that Mary and Joseph couldn't even offer a lamb. For a purification according to the law of Moses they had to offer to Birds because they were that poor and Jesus was that. poor so that we could be rich. So that we could have you turned over to so that we can have well that never goes away so that we can have wealth that's not connected to the stock market so that we can have well that's not connected to any sort of economic downfall or or return for that matter either. so do we have welfin and enriches that are that are secure that are always hours that thieves can't steal that do not Decay or rust.
And the other thing you're the same then that this little absorbance of ours today brings to the Forefront of our attention and is what is our own attitude towards the poor?
I wish there was some in Ocean County. And then maybe some right next to us. In the church, and it needs some right next to us in our communities.
And maybe not just materially poor because everything might seem okay. But their actual living on credit up to their eyeballs. But you got a whole bunch of poor people around us that are spiritually poor. They are emotionally poor. They are relationally for they are lonely. There's a whole lot of people who are connected on their device. That are lonely. And especially as we get into the older ages of people there lonely. That's a kind of poverty. How do we how do we Embrace how do we embrace the poor the way that Jesus the son of God became poor and embraced us.
See how this connects.
Okay. That's one aspect. There's another aspect of today in terms of what it is what it is that we're doing and hopefully you'll understand when I'm done why we're doing all this Mary and Joseph were also interested to do something else according to God's word. And that is this thing called presenting Jesus. They were there not only for her purification. They were also there to present Jesus to God and that comes from what God said to Moses in Exodus chapter 12 verse 2. Yahweh said to Moses consecrate to me every first born male consecrate meaning dedicate meaning set aside. The first born the first Offspring of every room among the Israelites belongs to me with a man or animal and so all first-born males animals. All first born male humans were dedicated to God the animals were dedicated to God by their sacrifice. And deaf, the humans were dedicated to God like Samuel was in the Old Testament reading they were dedicated to life the God by a life of service as was Jesus. Jesus was Mary's first born male. He was there for dedicated to God presented to God and he lived a life of service to God by serving people. That's what he did and and not only that but as an animal then he died a sacrificial death in the place of people. That's for you and that's for me where you live the life of service. But he also died a sacrificial death dedicated to God. This little observance were having today just by way of a little bit of background. Then this Feast of the presentation. What would I just mentioned was first observed in Jerusalem in the late 300s this observance of the purification of Mary. Jane was added to this Feast of the presentation in the 800s in the Middle Ages. What were observing today became known as candlemas like we have Christmas this was called candlemas and it comes from the words of Simeon who held Jesus in his arms under the holy spirit's Direction and he said that Jesus is the light to lighten the Gentiles. And in Kendall mass in the Middle Ages and in some Churches even still there are a whole lot of candles that were blessed and they were licked and they were used to symbolize Jesus as the light of the world C were continuing kind of Christmas Echo. If you will as Jesus enlightened the nation's with his grace and truth. So that's why candlemas was about NFL a bit of a background then in terms of what we're doing today why we're doing it why we observe it. I hope to sort of kind of helps you understand a little bit better the connection of the Bible the way it's all connected to each other. Hope this helps you understand Jesus a little better and maybe brings home some of the lessons of his life and and of his death, but I also want to just before we wrap it up for today Segway a little bit into what we're going to do the next week or two and that is noticed a difference between what people did in the temple while we're thinking and talking about the temple and what we do in church, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the floor plan of the church is very similar to the temple floor plan. Okay, where this is the knave with the altar of sacrifice was this is the chance of correspondent of them up. There is a sanctuary corresponding to the most holy place, but what people did in the temple and what we do in church are very different. You know, the floor plans are very similar cuz in the temple people did a lot of sacrificing it was kind of a bloody place. And always very unsanitary from our perspective. They did they did a lot of praying there was some listening going on because there was some teaching going on in the temple, but everything was going on in the temple was very individualized people kind of did it as individuals K. There's not a whole lot of stuff that was being done together. Corporately the whole idea of people singing together and praying together and listening together to to readings and explanations as a group. That's not what happened in the temple and synagogue. And that's what persistent what we do in church today very similarly. We sing together. We pray together most importantly what we do in church is listen together collectively, although we do individual things, but mostly we do this together, but we don't do this stuff together randomly, haphazardly there. There's a rhyme there's a reason that the Rhythm there's a flow. So what we do together in terms of the hot watch service runs and so I'm going to look at that with you for these next couple of weeks so that we can all see and understand better why we do what we do. Okay and Sons of when we get together for worship, That's kind of a little bit what's coming but as far as today is concerned. Let me just wrap it up and showed a reinforced eyes and reinforce those two points from these two observances that were celebrating together the purification of Mary and the presentation of Our Lord. The number one Jesus became poor for you so you could become rich in him. Okay, and number to Jesus came not to be served but to serve. And to give his life as a ransom for many. mainly you so not only then the question Becomes of how do we respond to that from him? But I also know how to respond to the poor Among Us near us and then how do we like Christ serve them?
Jesus is here to serve us. And now how do we serve others? With his strength and in his name. Amen, amen. All right, let's continue our services.