Anxiously Searching and the Message of Christmas
“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.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.-Luke 2:41-50
The story of 12 year old Jesus has always had me perplexed. A twelve year old boy hanging out in Jerusalem for the “Feast of the Passover” gets left behind by his parents. Now, this wasn’t just any twelve year old boy, this was Jesus! The Son of God, promised to Joseph and Mary, who were given the responsibility to raise the Savior of the world by the Holy Spirit.
Yeah, that boy! And they left Him in Jerusalem for three days, maybe four!
Imagine that conversation. Joseph might have been playing and Adam and Eve style defense: “Lord, you gave this woman your child. I played my part. She is the one who left Him behind. I just walked with her.” Mary was most likely like all mothers wondering what clothing rack her son is playing hide- and-go -seek in.
Then, they find Him in the temple. Hanging out with the big wigs of the religious groups, discussing the Old Testament (that’s not what they called it, but it works), and answering heavy questions with a lot of wisdom.
Next, Mary comes in like any mom would, “You were worried me sick! Why didn’t you at least send me a text message”! Ok, again, not sure if those were her exact words, but they work.
Then, Jesus, calmly responds, “Why wouldn’t you have looked for me in the very place I should be?”
Now, this is where I go to modern parents, even if they were confused, I am sure they would have said something like this: “You know where you should have been? With us, in the car, not sitting with some old guys talking about life”!
Jesus set the standard for spiritual searching in this single conversation.
In our lives, we have anxiety and stress. We hear of shootings, bombings, poverty, hunger, death, etc. and we worry about our future and where this world is going. We may even find ourselves saying “God! Where are you? Jesus! When are you coming back!”.
He then says back, “Why are you searching for me anywhere other than the very place I should be? I am always in my Father’s house; it is you who fail to look here first.”
We are running frantically, seeking a Savior, someone or something to free us from the struggle. Many of us are in a place struggling to discover that joy and peace He promised. Many are left looking to the sky or to books, but Christ is saying “Look at my Father’s house!”
This Christmas, while you’re rushing around for family events, take a chance to visit a church. Take some time to rest in the seats and listen to a message of Christ’s birth. Take some time to listen to songs about the Savior. Take some time to search for the redeemer in the very place He can be found.
Christmas is a time of reflection and reconciliation. A place that both can be achieved is in Jesus’ Father’s house. Come and find what we are all anxiously searching for and some have found.
QUESTION: Do you attend a church on Christmas Eve or Christmas day or both?