Monday, February 2, 2015

JE #24

Out my Window: After a very rainy Friday-Saturday (2+ inches!) the sun is out and we have enjoyed a bright and warmer Sunday-Monday. The forecast calls for sun and warm temps (70s) all week. Yes, I DO like Arizona winters.

Weighty Matters: I am working on adopting the DASH diet. Hypertension worries me, especially since it caused the deaths of my mother and my mother-in-law. With the DASH diet I don't need to count calories, just servings. Pretty easy. Right now the antibiotics for my abscessed tooth are wrecking havoc on my guts - yuck. But I will soon be done with those and back to norm. In the meantime I must eat more yogurt.

Churchy Stuff: I am enjoying observing the traditional liturgical year. I think Protestantism has devolved the church in many ways. For a many in the church there are only 2 holidays a year - Christmas and Easter. But in fact, there are many more observances and feasts. It is hard to explain, but for me it adds depth to my faith and to how I view Jesus. Worship is becoming less Sunday-centered.

Today is the Feast of the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

Today is 40 days after the Feast of the Nativity (Christmas) and according to Mosaic law Mary must present herself and Jesus to the temple along with an offering:

 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If a woman conceives and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days. As at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying. She shall not touch anything holy, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days.

“And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her. Then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female. And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.” (Leviticus 12 ESV)
 The LORD said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.” (Exodus 13:1-2 ESV)
 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 who first 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.” (Luke 2:22-24 ESV)

Today's holiday is also called Candlemas because it is often celebrated by a procession of candles due to part 2 of the presentation story:

 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting 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 would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit 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 you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
(Luke 2:25-32 ESV)

I am keeping a candle burning today to remind me that Jesus is my light.

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