Advent 2018 - Day 21. Jesus consecrated
Friday 21st December 2018
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. 22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
As young parents Mary and Joseph are keen to do for the child everything the religious law required of them. This reflects their own devotion, but also the fact that it was necessary for the Saviour to be obedient to the law. To ‘consecrate’ is to set apart for a holy purpose, and by bringing the baby to the Temple in this way they were handing him over to God for the special purpose that was his destiny. As he grew up as a child Jesus would later make this consecration his own as he accepted the calling on his life. For now, Mary and Joseph show by their actions that they are willing to bring the child up in the ways of God. There can be no better start in life than to have parents who desire God’s best for their children. There can be no better response to God’s grace in our own lives that to consecrate ourselves to his service.
As this family seeks God’s blessing so I pray that my family-time, this Christmas, will go beyond just being together, to see your love and know your presence. I’m looking forward to sharing life with others this Christmas, but LORD, I want you to be at the heart of that; “Take my life, and let it be consecrated, LORD, to thee.”