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Unwrapping the Christmas Child

Only a few days after Christmas and already we are being asked to unwrap what the birth of this both ordinary and unique baby means. In our gospel story this Sunday (RCL Luke 2:22-40) Jesus is eight days old and two very important but ordinary things are happening. That is, Mary is being presented at the temple for ritual cleansing after the birth of a child; and for a first born son an offering is being made to God to give thanks for his birth (in a sense to claim him as the firstborn is to understood that he will be God’s in a special way). Both of these activities were normal for observant Jewish people of this time.