Today we had a baby dedication in our church. The church has been having a "baby boom" of sorts; this was the 3rd or 4th in the last few weeks.
We've been using the story of Samuel being brought back to the Temple by his mom Hannah, who prayed for a son and promised God that if He gave her a son, she would give the child back to Him. God did - and she kept her word.
We also refer to the presenting of Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem. The Briss- or circumcision - was a time to name the child and to dedicate him to the Lord.
But did you know that there was a special ceremony for the first-born male child? The first-born child, if it was a son, was considered "holy unto the Lord" and by rights should have been sacrificed to God. But God made provision in the Law for such a child to be redeemed: rescued from death. His parents made a sacrifice to God in his place. If the parents were poor, they sacrificed two turtledoves, so that the child could live. Yes, Jesus had to be redeemed...so that He could redeem us. How's that for humility after knowing ultimate glory and majesty??
Few things in life are more vulnerable and totally dependent than a baby is. Yet Jesus - the Creator of the universe - not only became a human, He arrived as a squalling, wriggling bundle of need.
Just one more proof of the lengths to which God was willing to go, so that we could know Him - and allow Him to permeate our hearts with His love and make them clean.
But that's not all. In coming to us like that, He gave us the perfect picture of how to come to Him.
Naked. Needy. Helpless. Vulnerable.
He wraps His arms around that kind of honesty. And then He reaches for His pen - the one that writes in the indelible ink of His blood - and writes our names one by one in the Lamb's Book of Life.
We can rest assured - in His hands.