Good morning and welcome to this service for the linked charge of Eddleston and Peebles Old. This is the Sunday nearest Candlemas which marks the presentation of Christ in the temple.
In accordance with biblical tradition a woman had to be purified 33 days after a boy’s circumcision, so the whole family went to the temple. Candlemas falls on 2nd February and while it is our custom to take down our Christmas decorations on twelfth night, in some countries they remove them on Candlemas.
It is called Candlemas because in some traditions people would take candles to church to be blessed and used for the coming year, symbolising Jesus the light of the world.
After the bells have stopped you are invited to join in our first hymn which reflects part of our theme of Candlemas, and our gospel story today, 'Longing for light'.
Lord of light, shine in our darkness we pray.
Shine the light of your forgiving love upon our hardened souls
that they may be warmed and infused with your compassion.
Shine your light upon our faults and failings
that we may see the need for your forgiveness
And shine your light upon who we are,
so that realising we are children of God
who are loved and cherished and adored,
we may better serve you in the confidence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lord God as the days begin to lengthen
and the dark nights grow shorter
we give thanks that your love never changes.
Constant it remains to saint and sinner alike.
As we walk in both that light and love
help us to be people of the light chasing away the darkness that envelops some
while embracing others with the affirmation of your presence
so that through fallible, vulnerable people like ourselves
your light may shine and your love be seen
In Jesus’ name we pray
Luke 2; 22-38
Jesus Is Presented in the Temple
And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they
brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law
of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and
to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of
turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose
name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the
consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed
to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s
Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents
brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he
took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word;
for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to thy people Israel.”
And his father and his mother marvelled at what was said about him; and
Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel,
and for a sign that is spoken against
(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also),
that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan′u-el, of the tribe of Asher;
she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her
virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the
temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that
very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the
redemption of Jerusalem.
Today, after our gospel story, we want to pray for children and older people.
For children, full of wonder and expectation
soaking up the world they live in
with eager anticipation,
who bring a smile to the most cynical of faces.
Lord God we give thanks for those children surrounded
by love, warmth and security in their homes and extended families.
Life as it should be.
We pray too for those children who do not have any of that
hungry and abused, neglected and ignored.
For those for whom these strange times are proving an increasing strain,
struggling with different educational demands
with parents unable to cope.
Lord for our children, we pray.
And for our older people we pray
For those in care homes,
some feeling nervous and isolated
for those increasingly unaware of their surroundings
and their loved ones
and for those locked in their prison of loneliness.
Today we take a moment to give thanks for an older person and/or a child
to whom we owe so much for the enrichment and inspiration of our own lives
over the years.
Lord hear these our prayers today, prayers which will continue as we remember all those who
like ourselves today stand in the need of prayer.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
And now may the blessing of almighty God
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Be with you and remain with you
And all those whom you love
Today and for evermore
Before you go, two things
Please read the important congregational notice HERE
Remember the monthly Evening Services start tonight Go HERE
New header image courtesy of Ross Duncan