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.
One of the first stories about Jesus takes place when he and Joseph and Mary are visiting Jerusalem with some other families for the Feast of Passover. Mary and Joseph must have been frantic when they realized Jesus was missing. At first it is easy to think that your child is with other friends in the crowd, but then you realize you don’t hear his laughter or see him anywhere near. The search began in earnest, and they had to travel back to Jerusalem to find him.
When they found Jesus in the temple, he was perfectly fine. In fact, he was astonishing people with his questions and answers. And he was a little surprised that his parents were so upset. Having had the experience years ago of losing our son for a few hours helps me understand the feelings of Mary and Joseph. So, of course, when they realized Jesus wasn’t there, they went searching for him.
That reminds me of something I often hear in mission conversations today: “Find where God is at work, and join him.”
I wonder if we get so busy doing life that we sometimes stop experiencing God’s presence and his interruptions. Perhaps the beginning of a new year is a good time to search out where Jesus is and to join him in conversation and in the important work he is doing. Where do you see Jesus at work?
Dear Jesus, at the start of this new year, help us find you and walk the journey of life with you. Help us to listen to you and follow you. Thanks for being here with us. Amen.
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