Today we celebrate faith.
- The faith of Mary and Joseph to the Law and Jewish tradition by traveling to Jerusalem to present their first born son in the Temple; consecrating him to the Lord.
- The faith of Simeon - who lived in hope in the promise of the Holy Spirit that he would see the Christ of God before he passed 0n.
- The faith of Anna - who kept true to her vows and holy life of prayer and fasting: blessed by God’s revelation to her of His promise to bring salvation to His people through the child, Jesus.
In these persons, Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna we have wonderful models of faith – faith in God and in the traditions of Judaism and obedience to the Law. In them we see faith to the church and its teachings and traditions – faith in the word of God – faith in the revealed truth of God and faith in God’s fulfilment of His promises.
Mary and Joseph are faithful servants of the Lord. Obedient to God’s truth through the Law of Moses. In consecrating their first born son to the Lord they continue the traditions of their faith: traditions that were passed down to them from generation to generation. In keeping true to the tenants of faith they help keep God’s covenant alive in their hearts and in His people.
Simeon and Anna, each holds onto their faith in the Lord and His promise of salvation. They do not question how long it will be, but live patiently, in faith and hope. Each lives under the Law; obedient servants preparing themselves for the fulfillment of God’s promise and waiting in quiet expectation for the Messiah. They do not know when He will come, but know that what God has promised, - will be.
Simeon encounters the Spirit of God who brings him the message that he will see God’s promise of a Messiah. To Anna is revealed by God the uniqueness of the child Jesus. Both proclaim the wonder of God to bring Light into the world.
Their faithfulness is our foundation in remaining true to God and his promise of salvation for his people. We live by faith and expectation awaiting the return of Jesus so He may bring all God’s children into the peace of the Kingdom of Heaven. By his sacrifice we have gained, through grace, God’s promise of eternal life because we are His beloved.
In our faith we stand on the faith of past generations who waited patiently in hopeful anticipation of the Lord’s return and the fulfillment of God’s promise. We learned, through the example of those who saw and believed before us, the stories and traditions passed down from the Apostles.
Today we continue telling those same stories to all we meet in the world; spreading the Truth of the Gospel, keeping faith in God’s promise. It is our faith that keeps the Light of Christ burning brightly in our hearts for the world to see; living as disciples of Jesus – being Christ to all and seeing Christ in all. Our discipleship in Christ, living as Jesus taught us is how we keep alive our faith in God’s promise. Our faith makes us strong; giving us courage to wait patiently for its fulfillment.
Our faith is not a dry dusty, time-worn tradition. We are not faithful keepers of artefacts in a museum of-what-was. Our faith is a faith of the future – the faith of what-will-be. Our faith is a faith of joy, a faith alive with expectation for the coming glory of God’s promise of the kingdom of heaven. We believe in the Resurrection: the conquering of sin and death and life everlasting!
In our faith, we live as Christ taught us – loving one another: anticipating our entry into God’s kingdom of peace and justice. Ours is a faith of the future. We are a people looking forward, with great and joyful expectation to the coming of the Lord. We are a people seeing beyond the horizons of this world; living in faith that of the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation and Eternal Life.
Our faith today is as strong as the faith of the Apostles built upon the foundations of faith. Our belief in Jesus, His Resurrection and God’s promise of salvation is a continuing story passed on to us, not to keep within, but to share with the whole world. We owe the strength of our faith to those who have gone before us: the faithfulness of each generation in keeping the Light of Christ burning brightly in our hearts.
It is the faithfulness of all the disciples who have gone before us; living in the hope of the Resurrection who have kept the lamps of faith lit, patiently waiting for the Lord to come. As they did, we too, in our faith, keep Christ’s Light burning brightly in our hearts and sharing that Light with the whole world for today and forever. ~Amen
Deacon Don Ron