The Curate writes for February 2020

The Curate writes………

As we move into February, we leave behind us the Seasons of Christmas and Epiphany and the nativity scene is removed from church. It is still some weeks before we can look forwards to the spring flowers. The days remain short. I read recently that up to 1 in 3 people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder otherwise known as “winter       depression”. Even if we don’t suffer from this sort of depression, many of us will be longing for warmer and longer days and literally want to see more light. The lights and decorations of Christmas can give us some relief from winter in December, but what of February?

We start the month in Church by thinking of light. On 2nd February we celebrate the festival of Candlemas otherwise known as the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. This marks the completion of 40 days since the birth of Jesus and the journey which the Holy Family was required to make in accordance with Jewish cleansing laws following the birth of a baby boy. They were to make a sacrifice of two turtle doves or two pigeons. An old and righteous man, Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit, came to the Temple and upon seeing the child with his parents took Jesus into his arms and  proclaimed the infant as ‘The light to enlighten the nations’. The image of Christ as the light to the nations has led to the Candlemas festival being a celebration of the light  countering the darkness, so it is for that reason that candles often play a part in such services.

Therefore, I would suggest the answer to our winter blues should be that we turn to the light which is Jesus himself.  At our own Baptism we, too, were given a lighted candle so that we should also reflect Christ’s light. So with our own inner light shining through the darkness, let us be beacons of light and hope to all we meet, and let us look forward to seeing physically the new creation of spring and spiritually the new creation which is our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

A prayer for Candlemas

Lord Jesus Christ, light of the nations and glory of Israel: make your home among us, and present us pure and holy to your heavenly Father, your God, and our God.

 

 

Yours, In Christ 

Simon