Sunday 30 December 2018

Bible Book:

'Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?' (v 49)

Luke 2:41-52 Sunday 30 December 2018

Psalm: Psalm 148  


It’s not a good feeling to lose something. When you realise that a purse, a wallet or a set of keys are missing, certain emotions kick in. Fear, panic and then a sense of relief when you find the lost item at the bottom of your shopping bag – or a horrible realisation that it really is lost and you have to cancel all your cards.

A step up from that is the experience of being lost yourself. As a child, I remember becoming separated from my family in a busy department store. I think we were only apart for a couple of minutes but it felt scary. There was much relief when I was found near the escalators!

The two perspectives in this story catch my attention. Mary and Joseph, the frantic parents, assuming their boy is travelling with others, their panic levels rising when they realise he is not with them. And Jesus, ever the nonchalant almost-adolescent, having the time of his life debating in the Temple, being almost incredulous that his parents don’t know where to look for him, almost oblivious to the fact that they had been searching for him for three whole days.

There is something else in this story – a glimmer of the future. Jesus is asserting his independence, testing his wings, deciding to sit in the place of worship dedicated to his Father, rather than simply trekking passively home behind his parents. He was nearly a man – not quite – but this was a powerful signifier that there was something about him that was different.

This was a moment of claiming independence; an act of becoming his own person, owning his own belief. And yet the continuance of the family unit is still important.

After this incident Jesus goes home with Mary and Joseph and continues to be ‘obedient’ to them. Did he go back again the following year? Did he constantly dream of returning to his Father’s house?

Luke does not answer all the questions that we have, so today we will have to content ourselves with knowing that the one who was lost was found – and was also found to have changed.


To Ponder:

  • If you were brought up in a Christian home, when was the moment that you decided that your faith was your own – or that you believed different things from the generation who raised you?
  • How do we encourage the children and young people we know to ‘find their feet’ spiritually and explore what having faith means to them?
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