Readings - Sunday 30th January
who in the beginning
commanded the light to shine out of darkness:
we pray that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ
may dispel the darkness of ignorance and unbelief,
shine into the hearts of all your people,
and reveal the knowledge of your glory
in the face of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Ezekiel 43.27 - 44.4
When these days are over, then from the eighth day onwards the priests shall offer upon the altar your burnt-offerings and your offerings of well-being; and I will accept you, says the Lord God.
Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut. The Lord said to me: This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut. Only the prince, because he is a prince, may sit in it to eat food before the Lord; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way.
Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; and I looked, and lo! the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord; and I fell upon my face.
Great is the Lord and /highly • to be / praised :
in the / city / of our / God.
His holy mountain is fair and / lifted / high :
the / joy of / all the / earth.
On Mount Zion, the di/vine / dwelling place :
stands the / city • of the / great / king.
In her palaces God has / shown him/self :
to / be a / sure / refuge.
For behold, the kings of the / earth as/sembled :
and / swept / forward to/gether.
They saw, and / were dumb/founded :
dis/mayed, they / fled in / terror.
Trembling seized them there;
they writhed like a / woman in / labour :
as when the east wind / shatters the / ships of / Tarshish.
As we had heard, so have we seen
in the city of the Lord of hosts, the city / of our / God :
God has es/tablished / her for / ever.
We have waited on your loving/kindness, O / God :
in the / midst / of your / temple.
As with your name, O God,
so your praise reaches to the / ends of the / earth :
your right / hand is / full of / justice.
Let Mount Zion rejoice and the daughters of / Judah be / glad :
be/cause of your / judgements, O / Lord.
Walk about Zion and go round about her;
count / all her / towers :
consider well her / bulwarks; pass / through her / citadels,
That you may tell those who come after
that such is our God for / ever and / ever :
It is he that shall be our / guide for / ever/more.
Luke 2. 22-40
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 firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’
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. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 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, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 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 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
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 for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 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.
When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.