'Here we turn from Christ's birth to his passion.' The Church of England's contemporary liturgy sees the feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple as a hinge in the Christian year. We are half way between equinox and solstice. We use and then finally put away the whites and golds we've used through the Christmas and Epiphany season. We hear the prophet recognise God's glory made known among us in Christ, but then warn Mary that her heart will be pierced.
So some of the seventy-five people of all ages at the second of our monthly The First Sunday Thing (our new style Family Service) yesterday created this signpost: travelling in the Bethlehem direction the decorations are images from Christmas cards; travelling in the Jerusalem direction the decorations include Good Friday images.
I posted here on 16th December about creating the service’s own blog. After a great deal of badgering, the local paper featured this on Saturday. There is a stained glass window of the Presentation in St Michael’s which includes both a heavily stooped Anna resting on her walking stick and a small boy carrying a bird cage containing the animals to be sacrificed. I suggested wittily on the other blog that this appeared to show the very first act of all age Christian worship, but the paper’s deft handling unfortunately managed to make this appear to be a very major claim for the First Sunday Thing itself.