Presentation of the Lamb

2 Feb

Kathryn Hauser’s Special Reflection for the Feast Day of the Presentation of the Lord
Saturday, 02 February 2013

Presentation of the Lamb
[Conversation with Jesus Christ:]
Me: Jesus, do You mind if I keep my head on Your chest for a little while longer?
Jesus: Not at all. I cherish our snuggle time together.
Me: I was thinking about what Malachi said in today’s special lectionary readings:
Malachi 3:1 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord [NOT in capital letters] whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight–indeed, he is coming, says the LORD [IN capital letters] of hosts.
Lord, I know up front that Malachi was talking about Your coming. We have one Covenant with You; one relationship. But our delights differ so much! And You truly have given us what we wanted. You have sent us the messenger of the covenant in whom we delighted. We have gotten what we wanted depending on the relationship we desired, then chose, then chased, and then delighted in. I am amazed at how the Father led His children into a common Delight over the centuries! It is breathtaking to step back and see the sweeps over the millennia and observe how the lights went on between the “temples” of our own heads in collective Ah-Ha’s! in cycles over the centuries! I think back in gratitude for the Desert Fathers and Mothers [3rd and 4th centuries] and how they did so much for us through their prayers. In the 300’s Constantine made Christianity politically acceptable. Then the Dark Ages settled in around 500 AD and lasted about a thousand years. Constantine had allowed Christianity to have a voice, and the generations following him struggled to find their identity with that voice. More holy prayers paved the way for Charlemagne (800 AD) to receive Christianity and bring order into the chaos. I am amazed at how Charlemagne converted the Saxons to Christianity, was crowned emperor, and integrated Western Europe, all during his lifetime! That’s amazing! Then universities had a chance to blossom (Bologna, 1088.) Lord, would You mind if I read to You the insight that You gave me in August 2010? I don’t want to bore You with what You already know.
Jesus: No, I wouldn’t mind at all. I don’t get bored with our conversations. Go right ahead.
“With a new sense of order and structure came the evolution of the Feudal System in the 9th and 10th centuries. With order comes peace. Society started to shed their fears and superstition. They started looking again at the importance of classical learning. Bologna became the first university in Europe to grant degrees in 1088. Ten years later, God raised up St Hildegard of Bingen (1098). She was blessed with an encyclopedic learning capacity, which she used to teach the Church. She was instrumental in re-teaching society many of the scholastic disciplines and skills society had lost during the worst of the Dark Ages. She was considered a “prophetess” because she listened to God and shared with others what He shared with her. She was also a highly regarded mystic and composer (Ordo Virtutum).”
We were so blessed to have Hildegard help us to learn how to delight in knowledge of God’s creation. Lord, then You sent Julian of Norwich (1342) during the Black Plague and we delighted in remembering God’s love for us.
Heb 2:14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

2:15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
Then You sent Martin Luther (1483) and he helped us to remember that Your great grace is upon us.
Ps 84:7 They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
Later You sent Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers and we delighted in governance by the people and for the people. These “descendants of Abraham” (Heb 2:16) were helped by the Holy Spirit to see fair governance. They followed Your leading and Your example, Lord. You, our High Priest, honored the sacred in the ordinary. And is it not true that the ordinary is always scarified? Look what happened to You, Jesus:
Heb 2:17 Therefore He had to become like His brothers and sisters in every respect, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.
I don’t know what it is about us humans but any time we see something gentle we have this need to kill it.
But thankfully God doesn’t back off. Just within my lifetime He sent Thomas Merton [1915-1968] and his willingness to dialogue across interfaith lines. And looking at this with a broader perspective, I really don’t think it is a coincidence that today we delight in communication globally by the World Wide Web. Just as the Romans institutionalized the making of roads, which also ended up enabling the spread of the Gospel, so I believe that the Web will be the highway of the Lord’s. (Isa 35:8) It is beautiful when hearts and minds “wake up” to welcome the message of the messenger.
Jesus: It is beautiful. But being amazed is not the same as being welcomed. For example, My parents were amazed by what Simeon said about Me when they took Me to be presented in the Temple. [Lk 2:33] At the time, in the first moments, it didn’t dawn on My mother that salvation would pierce her own soul, too, until Simeon spoke to her. [Lk 2:34-35] She had sensed it before then, but she didn’t get the full, deep, Knowing until he said something.
Me: Lord, if salvation is the same as growing up, then why does it hurt so much?
Jesus: What would you say to your “kids”?
Me: I don’t think I could say anything. I have just held them and prayed over them.
Jesus: Exactly. Love does this. The Father’s love does this.
Me: On Monday Prophet Sandie Freed had said,
“Forging ahead in faith requires knowing our identity in Christ. Realizing that on the Cross, Jesus shed His Blood and, in doing so, gave us complete salvation. Salvation is the word sozo, and it means more than salvation. Again, it also involves completeness or restoration, healing, forgiveness, fruitfulness, increase, favor, prosperity and everything else we need! Think on this –without His Blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. Dear ones, there is power in the Blood of Jesus!”
I was thinking, … when we believe, then Your blood gets inside us. We become part of Your DNA. We become part of Your family. We are all one.
Jesus: That’s right.
Me: Well, when You were presented in the Temple, Simeon relaxed and said,
Luke 2:29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;

2:30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,

2:31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

2:32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
If I may be so bold, Lord; You have done the same thing with the archetypal Seven Churches as God did with You at Your presentation. You have prepared them in the presence of all peoples. Like You, Lord, they are a light for revelation to the rest of the world and for glory to Your people Israel. Each Church was a “lamb” laid on Your altar in the Temple of Your heart. The shepherds became “twelve gates” of a single Pearl. (Rev 21:21) Your Twelve Disciples laid the foundation (v 19). They went before us. We just followed in their footsteps. You gave us each gifts and those gifts really did get “crucified” with You to refine and purify them! (Malachi 3:3) I believe the offering of “Judah” has already been pleasing to You, Lord, as in the days of old. (v 4) The word just hasn’t gotten to Jerusalem as in former years. (v 4) I really do not believe at all that You have still more Great Tribulation [wrist on forehead] in mind as the Seven Churches sit on their gifts. Especially since the Persecuted Church is still out there only living on faith that You make good on Your promises. The Persecuted Church lives in very real fear of knowing that being a Christian is a death sentence for them, and then a representative voice for the archetypal “Seven Churches” over here in the West literally just said to me this week after I sent out my Reflections blog site: “Yes I saw your sight! [sic] Bless you Kathryn, wonderful!” Bless but don’t share? Same old Balaam issue… (Rev 2:14) Bless, but don’t share…? This issue gets soooo old; it’s so ancient!
Psalm 24:7-10
24:7 Lift up your heads, O gates! [worship!] and be lifted up, O ancient doors! [share!] that the King of glory may come in.

24:8 Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle.

24:9 Lift up your heads, O gates! [open the mind] and be lifted up, O ancient doors! [open your hearts, not to more self-centeredness] that the King of glory may come in.

24:10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah
Lord, my heart aches because I soooo long to get the word to the Persecuted Church and to encourage them. You know I have tried. This week I tried sending the Reflections blog site to underground pastors via icc@www.persecution.org, as this address had automatically come up in the computer’s ‘Outlook’ program. I “get it” that our outlook doesn’t look too good. And for three days Satan kept making sure that the message got blocked and delayed until delivery outright failed. I really do understand that’s Satan’s job to frustrate, but I also know that You really do have the last Word and the power to push through any delays, or obstacles, or failures he may devise. I know that I do not have all knowledge, prophetic powers, or a grasp of the mysteries (1 Cor 13:2), but I do know that have a heart broken for love.
Lord, would You do me a favor?
Jesus: Ask.
Me: The Church in the West is like You said she would be. She doesn’t seem to think she needs anything. (Rev 3:17) So would You get the news to the Persecuted Church, Your “Lamb”?
Jesus: Sure. I will do that. They will not be hurt at all by the “second death.”
Me: Thank You. Please give them a hug from me.
Jesus: I will.

Presentation of the Lord Saturday, 02 February 2013 Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
Malachi 3:1-4
3:1 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight–indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

3:2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;

3:3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness.

3:4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

Psalm 84
84:1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!

84:2 My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

84:3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.

84:4 Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah

84:5 Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

84:6 As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.

84:7 They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

84:8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

84:9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.

84:10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.

84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly.

84:12 O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Psalm 24:7-10
24:7 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.

24:8 Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle.

24:9 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.

24:10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah

Hebrews 2:14-18
2:14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

2:15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.

2:16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham.

2:17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.

2:18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Luke 2:22-40
2:22 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

2:23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”),

2:24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.

2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

2:27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law,

2:28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

2:29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;

2:30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,

2:31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

2:32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

2:33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.

2:34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed

2:35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed–and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

2:36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,

2:37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day.

2:38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

2:39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

2:40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: