Letter from the clergy - Friday 29 January 2021

First published on: 29th January 2021

Dear All,

This week has seen the people of Farsley celebrating the return of “Freddy” the cat. For those of you who have not followed this story on social media, Freddy had been lost since early January and his owner had been desperately searching for him and asking others to keep their eyes peeled. When it seemed that he may have been lost for ever, somebody spotted Freddy in a coal shed. His owner rushed down the high street to retrieve him. She has been celebrating his safe return with the people in Farsley and is delighted to have him home.

This week in church we celebrate the presentation of Christ in the temple; a standard Jewish custom but, as usual with Jesus, nothing is just standard. In the temple, a righteous man named Simeon takes the baby Jesus in his arms and proclaims “God, you can now release your servant, release me in peace as you promised. My eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared for all peoples!”. The one he had been waiting for had come, the one who he had been searching for, the one for whom he had had his eyes peeled was in his arms.

Why was Jesus the one he had been looking for? Because Jesus was the light to the Gentiles and the glory for Israel; the saviour for all people, Jews and non-Jews. Simeon said that he could now depart in peace because he had seen Jesus. He knew the promises of God had been kept.

The Jesus held in Simeon’s arms is the same Jesus who is alive and reigns in us today. He is the one who people are searching for, even if they do not know it yet. We cannot yet see Jesus like Simeon did, but we can find him through the Bible and in the lives of His followers.

A vicar friend describes finding Jesus as “like that moment in the opticians when you are wearing the funny glasses and they put different lenses in and ask you whether it is better with or without. Can you see better with this lens or without this lens? Is our life better with Jesus or without Jesus?”

Simeon saw in Jesus the promised salvation for all peoples. Have we seen that salvation? Have we got our eyes peeled, like Freddy’s owner? Are we helping others find who they are looking for? Do we know that peace that Simeon found, knowing Jesus will find us and bring us home?

God bless.




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