Luke 2:41-48 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
I have always loved this episode of A Day in the Life of the Boy Jesus. All of the powerful emotions of life are wrapped up in just a few verses. Celebration, forgetfulness, panic, amazement, astonishment, anger, resentment...they are all there and then some.
I've heard many stories from parents that had forgotten their child and left them behind, but not many that lost them for days! You read this story to several people and you will probably get just as many interpretations of its meaning. What lesson comes rising to the surface for you?
Is it the fact that this 12 year old boy is leading a church small group? How about the idea that if you want to find Jesus you need to look in the right places? Maybe it's don't ever let go of your child's hand at the fair! All of those I have certainly thought of before. But today, one of the things I see flashing out of the story is the parents blaming Jesus for something that they should have been responsible for. "Son, why are you treating us like this?" We all still do that today. We make a mistake, panic and become fearful and even angry and then we go and blame God for all the wrong that has occurred and how we are feeling.
It's Christmas! Let's stop blaming Jesus, stop letting go of him and quit leaving him behind. Let's start being glad that we are all in this family together. Jesus lives in us and is changing the world through us. Now, where did I set my coffee?