“…they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…” (NRSV, Luke 2:22b)

It was much the same as any other morning in Jerusalem.  A man and a woman, carrying in her arms her Infant Son, made their way across the great outer courtyard of the Temple to where the sacrificial offerings were on sale.

The man in charge of the stall, seeing the baby, knew at once what they wanted.  This would be her first-born son who, like all first-born sons, belonged to God.  And she had come, as the Jewish Law required, to present him to God and to offer a lamb, and a pigeon or turtle dove; or, if the parents were poor, as these parents obviously were, they were allowed to offer a second pigeon or dove instead of the lamb.

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