The scripture passage for today is Luke 2:41-52, when Jesus is studying at the Temple. It's one of the rare glimpses that any of the four gospels in our Bible give us of Jesus as a child (Mark and John do not even tell of Jesus' birth). But it is also treat to think of Jesus as a child. If Jesus indeed lived to be around 33 years old, we know very little of the first 30 years of his life, with most of the gospels focusing on his years in public ministry, which most scholars put at about 3 years. And as a child, where would we expect Jesus to be? He was probably often found playing with friends around Nazareth or helping Joseph with the family carpentry business. But he also knew he belonged in the Temple.
For Joseph and Mary, visiting Jerusalem was an annual event as they celebrated the Feast of Passover (remembering how God and Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt). They thought Jesus was hanging out with relatives, when in fact he was hanging out at the Temple! This makes me wonder where my children will feel at home in the years to come. Will the know they belong at church, religious, sanctuaries and holy sites? Will they feel most at home in stadiums, theaters, or schools? More importantly, do we all know where God is, and do we have specific places we go to for learning about God and faith? For me personally, I know without a doubt that I belong amidst mountains and Mennonites, and that God is there. I can only hope I'm attune enough to know where to find my kids when they are learning on their faith journey.
Teenagers and adults can read this story in Luke here.
Children can read this story on page 174 of Shine On and 230 of Spark.
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.