Daily Archives: Saturday, 31 December, 2011

Waiting, hoping, looking (First Sunday of Christmas, Year B, 1 January 2012)

Waiting, hoping, looking

Readings
Galatians 4.4-7
Luke 2.22-40

It must have been an ordinary enough scene. A young couple come to the temple in Jerusalem, forty days after the birth of her firstborn son. They were obviously a devout couple, a couple who obeyed the Law of Moses, which said:

Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord.

They’d been taught that since the time of the first Passover, the firstborn son had belonged to the Lord; they were required to offer sacrifice to redeem their son, to buy him back, from the Lord.

But this particular man and woman were also quite poor. If they could afford it, they would bring a lamb and a pigeon or turtledove to the temple. But those who couldn’t afford a lamb were allowed to bring two birds. Mary and Joseph brought two birds.

An observer would have only seen an observant couple, a poor couple, doing the right thing.

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