Celebrate the Light of Salvation on Feb. 2

To the editor:

“The deep meaning of groundhog day” by columnist Froma Harrop (Independent Jan. 31), noted that Feb. 2 was observed by Christians as Candlemas Day.

“Many Christians consider Jesus ‘the light of the world,’ Harrop wrote, “hence the candlelit processions before Masses and services on Candlemas.”

Going a little bit deeper, it is interesting to know that Feb. 2 is 40 days after Dec. 25, the day chosen to celebrate Jesus’ birth. When Jesus was 40 days old, Mary and Joseph brought him to the temple in Jerusalem, with an offering of two pigeons or turtle doves. This was done according to God’s command (Leviticus 12). A first born son would also be presented or dedicated to God at the temple when he was 40 days old. (Exodus 13:2, 12).

This special event in Jesus’ life is recorded in Luke 2:21-39. There was an elderly man named Simeon at the temple. God had promised Simeon that before he died, he would see the promised Savior.

When Simeon saw Jesus, he took him up in his arms and praised God. The following words in particular account for the custom of lighting candles on Feb. 2: “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

On Feb. 2, we can celebrate “Spring is on the way,” as Harrop wrote, and also celebrate the Light of Salvation which is forever.

Trudy Madetzke