O Come, Emmanuel!

Go Ask the Platypus

My favorite Christmas story actually takes place after the birth of Christ. Jesus had been circumcised and named according to Jewish law, and Joseph and Mary traveled to Jerusalem to present their firstborn at the temple. Can I set the scene for you? The story is found in Luke 2:22-35.

The temple was the center of Jewish religious life, and I picture it bustling from dawn to dusk, full of people waiting to see a priest about their skin conditions, money-changers hawking their wares, and pens of animals for sacrifice. A young woman carries her newborn while her husband handles the two doves for the sin offering required after the birth of a child. Doves are the lesser offering for those who cannot not afford a lamb. At barely over a week after the birth of her child, the young mother is tired and sore, but the law must be followed. They…

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