Today we began our Jesus Tree readings. We started at the beginning of Jesus’s life, with His presentation in the temple, and the encounters with Simeon and Anna, as recorded in Luke 2:22-38. The symbol for the tree is two turtledoves, which were the sacrifice offered by Mary and Joseph, in accordance with Jewish Law.
Lord, bid Your servant go in peace,
Your word is now fulfilled.
These eyes have seen salvation’s dawn,
This child so long foretold.
This is the Savior of the world,
The Gentiles’ promised light,
God’s glory dwelling in our midst,
The joy of Israel.
With saints of old, with saints to come,
To You we lift our voice;
To Father, Son, and Spirit blest
Be honor, love, and praise. Lutheran Service Book # 937
From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:
Thirty-two days after Jesus’ circumcision and seventy weeks after the announcement of John’s birth to Zechariah by the angel Gabriel, the Lord comes to His temple to fulfill the Torah (Luke 2:22-38). The days are indeed fulfilled with the presentation. Jesus’ parents keep the Torah and fulfill it by brining Jesus to His true home. Also, Jesus’ parents offer the alternative sacrifice of two turtledoves or two pigeons. Leviticus 12:8 allows this instead of a lamb (showing the poverty and humility of Joseph and Mary). Yet no lamb was necessary because already here at forty days old, Jesus is the Lamb brought to His temple for sacrifice. Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis is a beautiful example of the immediate response to this inauguration of God’s consolation and redemption in the Christ Child. Speaking to Mary, Simeon also prophesies about the destiny of the child.