Scripture: Luke 2:41-52 (NRSV)
Our text for this Christmas Day transports us from the story of Jesus’ birth to one of our only accounts from Jesus’ childhood. As I read over this passage, I wondered what parenting Jesus was like. God bursts into Mary and Joseph’s lives with extraordinary power and mystery. What a strange task – raising the Son of God! But surely it was easy for Jesus’ parents to forget and treat Jesus like any other child. Here, they get caught up in their anxiety over Jesus’ disappearance. And yet, Jesus reminds them that he is not ‘just’ their child; that he is here for a larger purpose.
On this day, God radically bursts into our world, and like Mary and Joseph, we’ve gotten used to this arrival. We too get caught up in the anxieties of our lives and forget to join Jesus as he sits in the house of God. I recently heard an author discussing a new book where he follows four families through the Christmas season. He reflected on the fact that the shortest chapter in the book was the one covering Christmas Day. On this day, “not much happens,” in contrast to the flurry of shopping before and after, and Christmas continues to be the quietest day in America.
I have experienced this to be true. I love walking across the empty, snow-covered streets to my grandma’s house Christmas morning. No cars or sounds, just my steps crunching across the snow. I pray that we might take this day as an opportunity to step back from our anxieties, that we might see how God has burst into our world in wonderful ways, and that we might allow the Spirit to break out into our lives.
FROM THE EDITORS:
Thank you to every one of you for joining us this Advent season as we waited once more for the coming of the Christ child. It is our prayer that you will continue to see the many ways God is bursting in and breaking out in your life, in your congregation and in the world.
Join us again for the season of Lent in 2010 (unless you unsubscribe, they will automatically be sent to you) when the devotions by Goshen College students, faculty and staff will start on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Blessings and peace to you in the coming year!
Scripture: Luke 2:41-52 (NRSV)
Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a days journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety. 49He said to them, Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Fathers house? 50But they did not understand what he said to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.