Luke 2:22

Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.

Joseph waits for his wife beside the faithful donkey.

“Any minute now, Duncan.” He laughs and pats his gray fur. “Any minute.”

Mary emerges from the stable doors, Jesus in her arms, as Joseph checks and rechecks the packages tied to Duncan’s sides.

“You said good-bye to them?” He nods at the door, now closed, animals peering out.

“And fed them some fruit.” Mary says, a broad grin crossing her face.

He lifts Mary onto the donkey’s broad back and then pulls them toward the city–the rest of the family already on their way.

Today they go to the temple. Today is the second step in many that will bring their son up the way God intends–in the way of His true Father.

Joseph is still confused when he looks on the boy. He’s sure he can see himself in His face, see his own eyes in Jesus’.

How can He not be his, when Joseph can feel in his bones, in his very soul that He is?

“That is why God chose you,” Mary tells him. “He knew you’d love Him as a son–not as Messiah.”

Even now, walking with his wife and son, he marvels at her wisdom.

“Here we are.” Joseph calls, bringing Duncan to a stop and taking Jesus from Mary.

After giving Mary a hand down, he hands the bundled baby back to her and unties the bundles from Duncan’s sides. He takes a wooden box in his hands to inspect. Inside are two perfect, white, doves–their temple offering.

“They traveled well?” Mary asks.

“They’re fine.” He smiles at his wife, but looks at the pair of doves with sad eyes.

Together, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, and the doves make their way into the temple.