4th Sunday of Epiphany/ Sexagesima

Psalms/ Canticles Psalm 48
OT Reading Ezekiel 43:27-44:4
Gospel Luke 2:22-40
NT Reading 1 Corinthians 13

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion on the side of the north, the City of the Great King.” Psalm 48:1-2

Hands up who immediately hears this sung as a chorus! I am guessing those of a certain age who might have grown up attending a Pentecostal church! 🙂 Psalm 48 is really one of the loveliest psalms, and one of my favourites.

I didn’t manage to get to church at all last weekend, so apologies this is late.  Also I can’t promise any degree of coherence since the brain fog is back and I’m struggling to think clearly. But these are my thoughts for what they’re worth.

With the Gospel reading this week, we step back in time from the Wedding at Cana to Christ’s presentation in the Temple, his circumcision on the eight day according to the requirement of Torah, and the meetings with Simeon and Anna who prophesied over him and blessed him. The selection ends with “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

The selection in 1 Corinthians is the ‘love chapter’ in which Paul outlines what true love looks like (with Christ’s love being the obvious example), and the section in Ezekiel refers to the Prince’s Gate. I’m not sure of the specific significance, but it would probably be worth doing a study on the Gates of the Temple as they all have different meanings. This short section is obviously understood to be messianic in nature, Christ being the Prince who is to come. (Curiously, from a Messianic perspective, the selection stops before the mention of the laws and ordinances since from a mainstream Christian perspective, the idea that the laws and ordinances will be in effect during the reign of Messiah is unthinkable, whereas from a Messianic perspective it is the only consistent interpretation.)

I can’t immediately see the connections between all these passages. If I am missing something obvious let me know!

I looked everywhere to find the version of Psalm 48 that I know but I couldn’t find it anywhere, so instead I will leave you with a Hebrew version by Shirei haLeviim which I hope you enjoy:

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