FreerangeFriday:Welcome to a New Month

by Lilly Lewin
cup of love 2024

by Lilly Lewin

Grab a cup, a candle to light and a blanket to wrap up in!

Welcome to a new month! Welcome to February!! 
A Blank canvas on which to create & celebrate life!
It’s also still winter here in the Northern Hemisphere so not always sunny & hopeful. The dark days of February can be depressing and long.
Be kind to yourself.
Do things that fill your cup & bring you joy!
Pour out the things that deplete you!

I pick a cup each February to remind me to drink in the love of God! And to remind me to pour out that love to other people!

You might want to find a CUP that represents LOVE to you and use it each day this month.

Today, February 2, is known as Candlemas. I didn’t grow up celebrating this festival of the Church Year, but I really believe we all need to reclaim this day! Especially in the dark days of February and in the darkness that seems to weigh heavily on our world.

Candlemas celebrates the cleansing of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. It’s when families brought their candles to the church to be blessed for the year. It’s also the end of Christmastide. It’s an ancient festival that began in the 300s AD.

“The earliest reference to the festival is from Jerusalem, where in the late 4th century the Western pilgrim Etheria attended its celebration on February 14, 40 days after Epiphany (then celebrated as Christ’s birthday), and wrote of it in the Peregrinatio Etheriae. It soon spread to other Eastern cities, and in 542 Justinian I decreed that its date should be moved back to February 2 (40 days after Christmas). By the middle of the 5th century the custom of observing the festival with lighted candles had been introduced, and the name Candlemas developed from this custom. In the Western church, Pope Sergius I (687–701) instituted the festival in Rome. In the East it is primarily a festival of Christ. In the West it was primarily a celebration of the Virgin Mary until the calendar reform of 1969.”  Encyclopedia Brittanica

In honor of Candlemas, LIGHT YOUR CANDLE and read Luke 2: 22-40  You might Listen to the Passage in other versions.

12th centuryPresentation at the Temple (Georgia, 12th c.)

Presentation at the Temple (Georgia, 12th c.)


LUKE 2: 22-40 NIV
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[a]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[b]
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[c] your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty- four.[d] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

What do you notice? What does the Holy Spirit highlight for you from this passage? Who do you relate to and why?

The People of Israel had been waiting for the Messiah, and now he is here! I’m not sure Simeon and Anna thought they would see their Messiah in the form of a baby, but they didn’t let his size change or belittle their response. They didn’t miss Jesus even though he didn’t appear as they thought he might.

How do you miss Jesus? What are you waiting for in 2024? Talk to God about these things.

Luke gives us the accounts of two people in this story. A man AND a woman are in the temple EXPECTING the Messiah. Mary and Joseph get more information about their new son! What do you learn about Jesus in these prophecies?

Simeon listened to the Holy Spirit and went to the temple that day, he didn’t skip it, ignore it and go pick up his dry cleaning, or first go to the market. Do you have times when you’ve listened to the Holy Spirit or times you know you haven’t listened and missed something ?

Simeon says that Mary will experience pain because of Jesus. What is piercing your heart these days? What things are breaking your heart? Talk to Jesus about these things and let Jesus hold them for you.

Simeon & Anna were both watching, waiting and looking for Jesus.
 They were paying attention, watching for the signs. What things help you see Jesus? How can you make time to wait and watch for Jesus this month and throughout 2024?


Jesus is presented in the temple by two parents who love and cherish him. We too are loved and cherished by Jesus. He longs to WRAP US in his great love! Imagine your blanket at the love of Jesus.

PRAY THIS PRAYER OF Dedication over yourself.

We gather to bless this child of God (SAY YOUR NAME OUT LOUD)

Father God wrap ME  in your arms of love.

Lord help ME  know that you bless me.

Holy Spirit guard me (SAY YOUR NAME) with your  protection.

Jesus surround ME with your grace and mercy.

And from the threads of life we share, weave a covering of compassion, love and prayer that grow as we grow in the months and years ahead. AMEN
(A prayer of Dedication and Christening based on a prayer by Andy Raine in the Celtic Daily Prayer Book 2)


CHECK OUT the Presentation of Jesus in ART

LISTEN: to Michael Card


The painting above is one I did in response to all the sorrow & loss during covid & after george floyd’s murder ! There is still so much loss and suffering in our world. In Gaza, in Ukraine, on the border, in the USA due to politics and prejudice. We need to be and bring LOVE to our world… one cup at a time, one friend, one neighbor at a time! Much love to you all ! Lilly

©lillylewin and

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