February: Candlemas 

 Candlemas commemorates the ritual presentation of the baby Jesus to God in the Temple at Jerusalem. It was a Jewish tradition in those days to bring a new-born baby boy to Temple 40 days after his birth and present him to God (Exodus 13:2-12). The Gospel of Luke (2:22-32) says that Jesus was met by Anna (the prophetess) and Simeon (the prophet) who are considered to have been two very holy Jewish individuals. Simeon held the baby Jesus and called him a ‘Light to the world’. Therefore, on February 2, exactly 40 days after Christmas, we commemorate Mary’s adherence to the Mosaic law as she entered the Temple for the ritual purification, as explained in Leviticus (12:2-8).  
Traditionally the Church’s candles would be blessed on this special feast day, Hence the term Candlemas. Moreover, many Christians would light candles and place them in their windows to commemorate this feast of light. Thus, this month we consider how we can be inspired and led by the light – Jesus, the Light of the World – and in turn become beacons of hope, joy and love in our time. 
 Christ Jesus, 
Bring your light and restoring presence to the dark places in our lives. Bring your hope to hearts that feel defeated. Bring your love and compassion to those in pain. 
 Give us faith to say with the psalmist, “Lord, you light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.” May your light of hope shine in the darkness for families today. Show us glimpses of your presence with us and the comfort you bring. 
In the busyness of today, help us to take a moment to be still and sit with you. To slow down, breathe deeply, and release our burdens to your strong hand. You are trustworthy, good, and true, and we thank you for caring for us so deeply and beautifully. Open our eyes to see you at work today. Give us your light. 
 In Jesus name, Amen.