I thought I might do a little something, this year, that would help me focus on what this season is really about, and maybe it could help you, too. I’m going to take the story of Jesus’s birth, found in Luke 2, and go verse by verse, 1 through 24, to see what happens. Here we go…


…(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”) ~ Luke 2:23 NIV

Obviously, this verse is in conjunction with yesterday’s verse, considering its parenthesis. It’s an explanation of why Christ, by law, had to be presented at the temple.

It was the law, found in Exodus, that required firstborn sons to be consecrated to God. Consecrated is another word for make holy, dedicate, set apart, devote to God, and it was considered the act of giving back “first fruits.” A tithe, if you will.

First fruits are typically considered the choicest, the best, but, when it comes to children, this seems a little harsh. After all, we love our children equally, don’t we? Of course we do. However, if we’re completely honest with ourselves, there’s something about the first one. We’ve never grown a human being before. It’s nine full months of one new experience after another. We endure pain like we’ve never known to push that little cherub into the world, and are absolutely gobsmacked in wonder at the sight of them. The rush of feeling is overwhelming, and, in that instance, we find that we’d leap tall buildings and stop moving trains to protect them. The idea of giving them over to anyone else – even God – seems almost impossible.

And that’s why He’s asking for them.

It’s an act of obedience and understanding that those babies are only trusted to us for a short while, but they are His forever.

There are all kinds of symbolic reasons that Jesus, born of God – God Himself – had to be presented back to God in the temple. But, I like to think that part of it was for Mary and Joseph, that they would be reminded that Jesus had only been entrusted to them for a while. Like your very best, most precious gifts, and mine, He was given to them by a loving God.

These gifts are holy, and we have been given the privilege of borrowing them for only a short time. May it be a reminder to all of us to invest fully, but live with open hands.

May it be a reminder to us to love hard and love well.


Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. James 1:16-18 ESV

We love because he first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19 ESV