Presentation of the Theotokos Great Feast Day
The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple; An example for every parent and child.
The Great Feast which we celebrate on the 21st of November, 2013, is the Presentation of the Theotokos. The Ever Virgin Mary’s entrance into the Temple is yet another example of how to live and serve our God – honoring Him who gives us all. Thus we come to the second to last feast day which I shall write for (the Nativity being the last, until we come to the anniversary of my first post for Theophany).
Joachim and Anna, who I had discussed in my post for the Nativity of the Theotokos, again come back into full light. We have learned how Anna promised her daughter Mary to God, and we discussed that this is evidenced to us primarily through an apocryphal book known as James. And so history shall repeat itself, as the writing from James continues the humbling story of two blessed parents. Joachim and Anna do not remain privileged for receiving the gift of Mary being born to them, but instead honor Him for the answer to their prayers and consecrate her to God in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Presentation of the Theotokos thus shows us how everything is given to us, including our children, along with every other blessing, and that we should not take this for granted but instead find it another reason to grow closer to Him through worship, prayer and sacrifice.
Abstracted from this, I feel a strong message. It is not just symbolism but it is additionally a way: a way to connect our fruitfulness on earth with His everlasting glory in eternity. Let us too offer our appreciation of the gifts of children to Him. Let us present our own appreciation through caring for them, instructing them of the good works of our Lord, and of the life in Christ He wants us to live. Not because He needs us, but rather because we need Him. And if only we could set aside our busy life – a life that will be over as a swift breeze through the sky passes by – to remember that we need Him and despite our weaknesses He gives us these ways to honor Him and love our children through Him. And so we come to the hidden message relating to the Presentation of the Theotokos: Joachim and Anna loved their child, and loved Him, and there is clearly nothing to distinguish as different in the way they showed their love for both. You see, their relationship with Him, each other and their loved ones were seamless. Clearly they showed this simultaneously and without hesitation.
Additional: Read an article about this feast day from OCA.org.
Love in Christ,