Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Luke 2: 22- 40
The experience of TIM has been a life- changing journey for me. I belong to the batch of 2014. At the very beginning we all were asked to give an introduction about our nation as all of us were from 12 different countries. I go to work and started to Google some things about my country. I wanted to present my country, India in the best way possible. So I looked for all the strengths of my nations like the vast land, the diverse cultures, and the amazing history etc. When we look at the passage in Luke 2: 22-40, we see that Mary and Joseph take baby Jesus for the ritual of purification (as was the Law of Moses) to the temple. According to the law, every firstborn male was designated as holy to the Lord.
Now there was a man called Simeon in the temple. It is said about him that he was a righteous and devout man and that the Holy Spirit rested on him. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. As Mary and Joseph brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God. And it is wonderful what he says next. I would like to point out three things that I found very enlightening. He says that after seeing this child he has seen salvation. He says that this child would be a light to the Gentiles and that this child would be a reason for many to fall and rise and a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed.
Simeon looks at a baby and says all these things. A child is considered to be the most vulnerable. A child is dependent on others for each and every single thing to the point that we may say to exist or to live. But God chooses and shows God’s salvation in the face of this vulnerable child. God plans to bring light not only to Jews but also to Gentiles through vulnerable child and God seeks to take down the powerful and lifts up the oppressed through this child. Most of the times when we want to represent anything related to us (as in my case I wanted to represent my country as being the best in the world), we want to show our strength and our might. The world teaches us the “Survival of the fittest,” which is the principle of capitalism. In this we are ready to cut the throat of our competitors. But God always shows us that true strength lies in our vulnerabilities. We look for salvation in places which have great power: the church, the Bishop, the priest, the elders. It is time that we turn our faces and look at people who are being oppressed, people who are exploited, people who are considered as failures, as powerless, as second citizens, who are outcaste. For among them shall we find salvation because God dwells between them in the dirty, smelly, manger of Bethlehem.
-Priscilla Suresh Rawade, Church of North India
Vulnerable God, we thank you for this wonderful life that you have given us. As we journey to understand you, we seek that you may guide us with your wisdom. Mold us so that we become humble to learn from each other. Give us a heart of flesh that we can feel the suffering and pain of our fellow human beings. Strengthen us as we struggle to do the little just things as we understand them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
(Image: Church of North India’s Facebook page)