Scripture: Luke 2:41-52
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; 43 and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; 47 and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously." 49 And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" 50 And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.
Meditation: What binds families together? Jesus came to show us the way to the Father's house in heaven – a way of unconditional love and unity, peace and harmony, trust and submission as members of God's family. Luke tells us in his Gospel account that the boy Jesus was subject to Mary his mother and Joseph his foster father. He traveled with his parents every year from Nazerth to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. This eighty mile journey normally took three days. So families often traveled in large groups, for safety and comfort. The account of Jesus' early life at Nazareth is mostly hidden. But Luke gives us a glimpse when Jesus goes up to the temple at Jerusalem for his first Passover at the dawn of his manhood (usually the age of twelve for Jewish males). It was at this key turning point in his earthly life that Jesus took the name "father" from Joseph and addressed it to God his Father in heaven. Just as the prophet Samuel heard the call of the Lord at a very young age, Jesus in his youth recognized that he has been given a call by his heavenly Father. His answer to his mother's anxious inquiry reveals his trusting faith and confident determination to pursue his heavenly Father's will. Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?
While Jesus recognized his unique call, he, nonetheless, submitted himself with love and obedience to Joseph and Mary and waited for the time when his call would be fulfilled. Like all godly parents, Mary and Joseph raised their son in the fear and wisdom of God. The Lord's favor is with those who listen to his word with trust and obedience. Do you know the joy of submission to God?
Our Heavenly Father calls each of us to a unique task and mission in this life. We may not discover or understand it fully, but if we cooperate with God he will use us for his purpose and plan. With the call God gives grace – grace to say "yes" to his will and grace to persevere through obstacles and trials. Do you recognize God's call on your life and do you trust in his grace?
"Lord Jesus, you came to restore us to unity with the Father in heaven. Where there is division, bring healing and pardon. May all peoples and families find peace, wholeness, and unity in you, the Prince of Peace and Savior of the world."
1 Happy is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks
in his ways.
2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion. May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6 May you see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel!