Bishop Nikolai in writing about today’s feast, the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, at which time the Christ-Child was brought in the temple to be dedicated to God and for the purification of the Virgin Mary, the bishop says: “Even though neither the one nor the other was necessary, nevertheless the Lawgiver did not, in anyway, want to transgress His own Law whom He had given through Moses, His servant and prophet.” This is not the first time Christ did something He didn’t need to, something that wasn’t necessary. Let’s not forget that He was circumcised (unnecessary) and then baptized (unnecessary).
But the reason the Lord was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, not to mention the reason God sent His only begotten Son was absolutely necessary. Yet to get to that which was necessary, the Lord did those things which were unnecessary. At times we might focus and busy ourselves with only on those things we deem necessary. And, indeed, they might rightfully so be necessary but there are little things which might prove to be just as necessary for our salvation. Of course, when Jesus did these certain things it was because He was the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law.
Our goal is for the salvation of our souls. Along the way, however, just as Jesus took the time to be circumcised and baptized and presented into the Temple, we too might be asked to do simple, small things. Jesus was fulfilling the Law we, on the other hand, might be serving for some greater good. We attend church, commune regularly – all things which are absolutely necessary for our salvation. But perhaps we’re needed to also serve the parish council, sing in the choir, help in the altar, etc.