Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.

These are words of Simeon from today’s Gospel as we celebrate Candlemas. It is not a simple prayer of the moment but a prayer that has been forming for Simeon’s whole lifetime; a prayer steeped in a life of patient and prayerful waiting, of faithful living and loving serving. It is this faithful companionship with God that allows Simeon to recognise who Jesus is when he is presented to him, and Anna also to respond in praise and thankfulness.

The pathway to peace for all of us takes a lifetime. We cannot go that journey without love. Candlemas gives us a perspective on God’s love. It marks the end of the season of Christmas and it is a turning point as we turn towards Lent and on towards Holy Week and Christ’s passion and the glory of Easter. We look back at the love of God come to be with us as a child and on to the saving love of God given for us, through his Son on the Cross.

This reflection of Mother Teresa can orientate and align us at this pivotal point in the church’s year and in our own lives of faith. It is something to live and embody.

‘The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.’

This is the lifetime’s journey for both Simeon and Anna. It gave them the gift to see and recognise God in the child Jesus and ultimately to find peace at having their lifetime’s prayer answered. This is also our calling – a call to prayer and silence, to faith, to love, to service, to peace.

Like Simeon and Anna we’re also called to share what we see and discover about Jesus along that lifetime’s journey with joy.

Revd Katherine Hedderly