Summary: Presentation of Our Lord - Anna meets Mary and Joseph and speaks about the redemption of Jerusalem. What does it mean to say that Jesus is our Redeemer?

Sin – it sneaks up on us

and reminds us of our need for redemption!

A baker in a little country town

bought the butter he used from a nearby farmer.

One day he suspected that the bricks of butter were not full pounds,

and for several days he weighed them.

He was right.

They were less than a pound,

and he had the farmer arrested.

At the trial the judge said to the farmer,

“I presume you have scales?”

“No, your honor.”

“Then how do you manage to weigh the butter you sell?” inquired the judge.

The farmer replied, “That’s easily explained, your honor.

I have balances

and for a counter weight

I use a one-pound loaf I buy from the baker.”

Ah, yes, the baker was selling less than a pound loaves of bread!

Sin – not following God’s will

Sin – it sneaks up on us

and reminds us of our need for redemption!

In order to talk about redemption

we need to talk about sin first.

If we don’t acknowledge our sin

why worry about the need for forgiveness?

And where do we go to learn about sin?

the 10 Commandments

Stealing, cheating, lying, cursing, worshipping other gods,

coveting, gossiping, etc.

We don’t do the good we want to do

as Paul describes it in Romans 7

but we give thanks to God who takes away our sin.

That is what our gospel reminds us of today

the refining, purification, salvation, and redemption,

of our lives that comes through Jesus Christ.


For those of us old enough

I could refer to S&H Green Stamps or Top Valu Stamps

You’d get stamps for grocery store purchases

fill the books with stamps

and redeem books of stamps for gifts.

But our youth

or even those under 40

probably don’t even know what I am talking about

But thanks to Apple and the “i” system

we have a new way to explain redemption.

go to the iTunes App

click on the word Redeem

and type in the combination fo letters and numbers

and voila

you have $10, $25, OR $50 to spend in the App or Music store.

Redemption meant something even more in the time of Jesus

Our gospel lesson

ends with Anna the daughter of Phanuel

Notice that it lists her as a prophet

How many female prophets do you know?

Not Jonah, Elijaah, Jeremiah.

In fact I don’t know of too many

Miriam, sister of Moses was

and Deborah, the judge was

and two other lesser known people.

So Anna has a special place in the Bible

a female Prophet – one who speaks for God

Notice that she was married for 7 years,

then widowed.

Marriage took place at an early age

so at age 84

she could have been a widow for 50-60 years!

What a feat that was in a day and age

where a woman had to be tied to a man

to have status and rights in the community.

Yet what was Anna doing?

worshipping and fasting and praying in the temple.

After Simeon had shared his prayer and warning

Anna came praising God

and telling that in this child

there would be the redemption of Israel.

That is,

Jesus would somehow redeem us from our sins

and make things right with God

Through Jesus

we would be able to cash in something

like our iTunes card or stamp books

and get something in return

That is

Jesus on the cross

is our redemption card.

When we come to God believing in Jesus as the one who takes away our sins

he does

redeems our sin

pays the price for our sin.

And in so doing

he brings light into our lives

The theme of Epiphany is Jesus as the light of the world

The lessons today

reflect the theme of Jesus as the Light of the World

who redeems us

Our OT lesson speaks of refining and purifying

When I went to Miriam Webster for a definition, it gave:

Refining the process of purification of a substance or form

I love it when they use the second term to define the first term

What does it mean to refine or purify?

Crude oil will burn in its natural state

but refined crude oil will burn better in your car

and not clog up the engine with all its impurities.

Refine – Purify

That is what God is doing with us

We sin

we know that

but through Jesus we are cleaned up – purified

so that we don’t clog up our lives with our sin.

Our second lesson says

Jesus made a sacrifice of atonement for our sins

Atone – break that down into two words:

At – one

the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross made us at one with God

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