And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. ~John 1:14
Consecrate to me all the first born. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine. ~ Exodus 13:2
And when the days of her purification are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. ~ Leviticus 12:6
And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtle doves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering.
~ Leviticus 12:8
Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord,) "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord", and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons." ~Luke 2:22-24
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
According to the law and the requirements of the day, Joseph and Mary were required to make a burnt offering and to present their Son to the Lord. They could not afford a lamb to offer as a sacrifice. I envision Mary going to the temple in Jerusalem to present her Son to the Lord with the turtle doves or pigeons, probably wishing she had a bigger sacrifice to offer...such as a lamb. How could Mary have known that the child she carried to the temple is the Lamb? The Lamb that would be sacrificed for us all! He came to this earth as a simple baby. He lived a simple life of humble means. He died a horrible death to redeem me and to make me right before a Holy God. I can barely comprehend His love and the sacrifice He gave, because I am so unworthy. As I reflect on this Christmas Eve, I am so incredibly grateful.
Note: My four year old is pouting in the last few pictures because she wants to be 'Mary!' Seems she might be missing the meaning of it all!
Children love to pretend and play dress-up! This is a great tradition to start with young children! We keep a big bin of clothes and items collected through the years to help with the re-enactment. They can choose from this or use their own imaginations to create outfits. I send them downstairs to dress and to decide who will do each part. Even when they are older, have them do a puppet show or a skit. It is a fun way to remember the birth of our Lord!"