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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…

 

…and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons. ~ Luke 2:24 NIV

So, here they came, the young parents and their extraordinary son, to the temple, ready to make the required sacrifice in order to consecrate Him to God. Typically, a lamb would be offered, unless those offering were very poor. In that case, doves or pigeons could be used.

The Savior of the world was born into poverty.

As I sit here on this early Christmas Eve morning, I sit by the light of the tree that we’ve had for twenty-two years. It’s a big tree, nine feet tall, and is covered by ornaments representing the whole of our lives together, going on thirty-three years. The area below it is jam-packed with wrapped gifts, and my refrigerator is also stuffed with the makings of two days of feasting, all awaiting the rest of our family who will arrive later this afternoon.

I do not live in poverty. Sure, there have been some very lean times, but I consider myself to live a pretty comfortable life. There have been, however, times I have been very poor in spirit…times I felt I had nothing to offer anyone. Perhaps you are sitting next to your tree, also laden with gifts, yet your spirit feels as bereft as a beggar on the street. Perhaps you have no gifts at all.

Jesus was born into slim circumstances to show us that there is no station in this life that is dishonorable to God. He’s not seeking only those who have lambs to sacrifice; He’s seeking our hearts, no matter how pitiful they may seem to us.

Turtle-doves are distinguished for their plaintive and tender voices. I imagine the song of the most mournful heart sounding just the same. What would happen, today, if we met Him at the altar with the plaintive song of our hearts? What if we crawled up to those steps to offer Him such as we had? My guess is that it would be as fragrant to Him as the choicest lamb, and the most extravagantly beautiful gift under His tree.

Let’s meet Him there with a living sacrifice.

 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. ~ Romans 12:1 NIV

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 5:3 NIV

P.S. I will not be posting tomorrow, to enjoy Christmas with my family. Thank you for joining me during this advent season! May your Christmas be filled with love, peace, and joy!