Luke 2:23-24New International Version (NIV)
23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 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.”
Mary and Joseph had to go to the temple for purification rites. That was the Law, Leviticus 12. They had to redeem their son since he was the first born son. They paid their money to redeem the Redeemer who would one day redeem his parents and all mankind with his blood.
This may not be part of the Christmas story that you are looking for today, but this was a sacrifice of love in the form of two birds. The birds would be the sacrifice of Jesus redemption according to the Law.
We always want this Hallmark photo of Mary and Jesus giving birth in this seemingly sterile stable, yet that wasn’t the case. It was a mess with foul odors, stinky shepherds, and probably blood on the floor from birth.
Yet, according to John 3:16, God so loved the world He sent His Son down to earth to our mess. It is a place of struggle, pain, and eventual death. Yet, we celebrate Christmas searching for love.
God is love and so is his Son. It is hard for me to wrap my brain around it to the place where God sent his Son for me and my brokenness and shame. Like David says, “I lift my eyes to the hills for a glimpse of my Savior’s love.”
Are you searching for love today? It’s not in a manger anymore. He came. He died. He rose from the dead. We wait for His soon return for us. That is love.
Merry Christmas to all my brothers in Christ and your families.
Strength and Courage