Jesus’s First Visit to Headquarters


Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a living sacrifice to you.

Jesus, I belong to you. 

Luke 2:22–24 (NIV)

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 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 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.”


This is another one of those ordinary days where the ordinary people of God are doing the ordinary things required of them in order to keep the extraordinary covenant between God and his people. In other words, there’s nothing to see here, really. The Law of Moses required seven days of waiting for the mother to become ceremonially clean from giving birth. On the eighth day, a baby boy would be circumcised. After another ceremonial period of waiting (thirty-three days for a boy and sixty-six for a girl), the child would be brought to the temple for presentation and the mother for purification. On this occasion the law required a one-year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon or dove for a sin offering.

Question: So why did Jesus’s family bring two pigeons/doves? 
Answer: They couldn’t afford a lamb. The compassion of God made provision for the poor in allowing the substitution of a second dove. 

Look again though—which is to say behold! They carried a lamb and not just a lamb but the Lamb. They brought the tiny lamb of God in their arms to present him to the Lord. Though this kind of ceremony had happened more times than could be counted, on this particular day we witness a ceremony never before seen or even conceived of. On this day, we unknowingly witness the presentation of God the Son to God the Father in the enfolding presence of God the Spirit. And no one, not the parents, not the priest, not the Levites, not the bustling crowd, and who knows how many other little families doing the same thing at the temple that day. There were no halos over anyone’s heads as our ancient icons now depict. 

History knows this event as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

There’s a better word. You saw it tucked into today’s text. I will bold it for effect. 

Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”),

This little family was simply doing what ordinary, poor, simple families who are living into and out of the big story of God do. They were practicing simple obedience. They were living an awakened life of consecration to God. Who knew it would be the ultimate example of an undercover visit to the temple of God by the God of the temple? (i.e. Undercover CEO Visits Headquarters)

Consecrated: It means to make an offering of one’s life as holy unto the Lord. Because the word “holy” sounds so religious and unattainable to most, let me translate it for us in five words:

Jesus, I belong to you.

There were two awakened souls that day in the temple who were beholding a story unfolding beyond the ordinary scene. We will meet them tomorrow. 


Our Father, we keep praying that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know you better, that I might become truly humble; which is to awaken to the person you imagined when you fashioned my inmost being and that I might rise up into the real life for which you created me. Forgetting what is past, I press on toward this high calling. But for today, let me find myself next to Joseph and Mary as they carried their tiny baby, the little Lamb of God into the temple to consecrate him unto the Lord. I want to live a consecrated life of simple obedience and extravagant love. Show me the next small thing. Come Holy Spirit, I am ready to move with you. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.


What do you behold going on in today’s text? What does this notion of a “consecrated life” mean to you? 


The hymn today is “Take My Life and Let it Be Consecrated,” hymn 586  in our Seedbed hymnal Our Great Redeemer’s Praise.  I know! I said we would continue “Shine Jesus Shine” again today. The Spirit intervened. We will indeed finish out “Shine Jesus Shine,” but this one is perfect for today. 

P.S.  Last Chance to Register for our annual Pastors’s Fellowship Retreat. SHEPHERDS OF THE KINGDOM—YOU NEED THIS. It starts tomorrow. If you are in some form of vocational ministry, please join us. It’s called MEND and you can find all the information here

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. In my opinion, today’s story of the baby Jesus’s consecration, was another example of hoe He was the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets,(Luke 24:27). In other words, His consecration unto the Father was the fulfillment of all those previous consecrations under the Law that were merely shadows leading up to this occasion. I understand “a consecrated life “ as giving back to God what is rightly His, we who are in Christ, we’re redeemed by his blood. We are to no long to live unto ourselves, but unto him who died and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15 b.)

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