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St John's Methodist Church, Allestree

Message from the Minister - Rev Helen Watson


Minister's message for February 2009

Dear Friends

On February 2nd many churches throughout the world celebrate the ancient feast of Candlemass (The Presentation of Christ in the Temple). Many churches light candles to re-create the atmosphere in the Temple in Jerusalem when babies were presented to God. You can read about the ceremony and the background to it in Luke's Gospel chapter two and in the book of Leviticus chapter 12. In more recent times the ceremony of 'churching' (the thanksgiving of women after childbirth) was also based on this ancient Jewish rite.

I suggest that during the month of February we continue to give thanks to God for the gift of Jesus born among us as a human baby and that we also pray for the children amongst us: those in our own families and those involved in the life of St. John's. We pray that they may come to know the light of Christ.

This is a traditional prayer for February:

Lord God, you are the source of everlasting light.
Your Son, our beloved Lord Jesus
was presented in the Temple forty days after his birth.
He was recognised by Simeon and Anna
and welcomed as the promised Messiah.
May we, like them, behold the glory of the Lord Jesus.
Grant that we may stand before you
with hearts cleansed by your forgiving love.
May we serve you all our days
and make your name known
as we worship you as our Lord.
So may we come by your grace
to eternal life.

Amen.

Yours in Christ,

Helen


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