Message for the Sunday after Christmas.
When a baby is born, it’s a time of great joy and celebration in the family. Maybe the parents mail out birth announcement to family and friends. The proud father passes out cigars — either real ones or candy — to his friends. And there might be presents for the baby. I remember when Amy was born, it seemed there was a constant stream of presents — even from people we didn’t know that well. I think they just enjoyed the opportunity to shop for cute little baby things.
In 1st century Palestine, people didn’t mail out birth announcements. But the time after a birth was a special time for devout Jews like Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph. Observing the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph had Jesus circumcised eight days after his birth. And then after the time of purification had passed (33 days in the case of a boy child), Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to make the prescribed offering. Because they could not afford a lamb, they offered two doves, or pigeons.