The Christ Child was presented in the temple in Jerusalem when he was eight days old. He was circumcised and given the name Jesus. Two turtle doves were offered for a sacrifice for his purification. You can read about this in Luke 2:21-24.
We learn from the sacrifice of two doves that Mary and Joseph were poor. Had they been wealthy they would have sacrificed a lamb.
Two prophets recognized baby Jesus as the Christ while they were in the temple. One of them was Simeon, a righteous and devout man. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the promised Messiah.
You can read about Simeon in Luke 2:25-35. Simeon took baby Jesus in his arms and praised God. He told them that many people would love Jesus while many others would oppose him. And he told Mary that a sword would pierce her very soul.
The prophet Anna was a very old widow whose husband had died only seven years after they were married. From the time he died, she stayed in the temple day and night fasting and praying. She came along as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph; then she too began praising God and telling everyone about baby Jesus. You can read about Anna in Luke 2:36-38.
These prophecies must have been very encouraging to Mary and Joseph after what they had been through so far. God’s hand was there to reassure them that his promises would come to pass.
(Note: The wise men are still following the star to Bethlehem)
This passage was omitted from the children’s book, The First Christmas, by Janice D. Green, illustrated by Violet Vandor.