When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’ When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him
Presentation in the Temple
They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…
Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord….
They offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord., a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons
The Lord wants to see us, and so he commands us to come. We go to his temple, the meeting place at which has agreed to make himself available to his people. As often as we turn up, he grants us an audience, listens to us and looks us over. He wants to see how we are getting on, so he invites us to come and make our report. We take to the Lord some sign of what we have achieved since we were last before him. We take a representative sample of our livestock, because this is evidence that we are good stockmen and managers. We bring some representative part of what the Lord has given us so he can see how it has grown since last time. If it has flourished, he can see that we are good stewards, capable of handling what is entrusted to us well, and now perhaps worthy of more responsibility. The health of this single animal represents the health of our entire holding.
The animals brought into the temple represent sons and all the other members of our household. Our own sons and servants may accompany us, and perhaps the Lord can see that we treat our servants as though they are our own sons. Animals dispatched back to heaven are messengers from the present generation of this household to ask for another generation for this household, so that it has a future.