I know I’m a little behind. I am trying to catch up in the book, “Through Their Eyes.” How about you? Don’t worry let’s press on. The lessons I learned while writing the After Christmas Special section were beyond priceless for me. This section was what got me going, propelling me into the new year. These lessons inspired me to seek the God of new beginnings so I pray you will carry on and help me finish the book. I have a feeling the Lord will inspire you too.
We are now on day 40 of Jesus’ life here on earth. Jesus would have been gaining weight. His physical sustenance depended on a young mother named Mary. He wasn’t born into the rich and famous of Jewish society. His earthly father was a peasant and a carpenter by trade. They didn’t have worldly wealth but in the eyes of the Lord this young couple had everything that mattered most. Mary was highly favored and Joseph was faithful to God and His Law. According to Leviticus 12, on the 40th day after giving birth, the mother was to take a burnt offering and a sin offering to the priest at the tabernacle of the Lord. This is that day, but because of their financial status, their sacrifice was two turtle doves, as in the song “On the 12th Day of Christmas.”
Mary took Jesus into her arms and ahe and Joseph would have walked six miles north to Jerusalem. It was time. She hadn’t been allowed to participate in temple worship since the Child had been born to her. But now… Now, it was time to get going. Get back to the discipline of participating in worship. They crossed the Kidron Valley to climb the steps leading to the temple courts. According to archeological discoveries the blood poured from the sacrifices on the alter flowed down a drainage system and emptied into a system that watered the Kidron Valley. Get this point. Mary carried the last sacrifice that mankind ever needed in her arms. She walked across the field that was watered by the blood of the sacrificial lambs. Jesus is our sacrificial lamb. In the temple court, she handed her sacrifice of two turtle doves over to the priest. The whole scene is a word picture for us painted onto the canvass of the temple. We cannot neglect this bit of history. It is written in two short verses in Luke, but it’s poignancy cannot escape us. His Story, and the whole of His Story is crucial to the children of God.
It is January 3rd. The holidays and their busyness our behind us. People are streaming back to work. It is time we rise up. Let’s climb those temple steps with Mary and engage in worship. Thank God for all He did in 2016 and worship Him for all He is going to do in 2017.
The past is the past. The leaders and prophets of God told the people to always remember. Remember what God has done for you.
Peter wrote in his letter 2 Peter 1, he wasn’t writing to present new ideas, but “to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in them… to stir you up by reminding you.”
That is the reason Dr Luke recorded these events of Jesus’ birth. These events were meant to strip us up and to make us passionate about all that God did for us when He sent His Son into this world one silent night over 2000 years ago. Let’s rise up as a church and bring God the sacrifice of worship as Mary and Joseph did.
What do you need to remember that will stir you up to worship God this beginning of 2017?