Joseph and Mary’s experience of losing Jesus on the way home from the Passover Feast is something that we can all relate to. What can we learn from their story?
Let us understand that we too can lose Jesus.
We will look at finding Jesus, contemporary events of lost family members and ask if we have lost Jesus?
Germany in the 1980’s was an innocent society. We were there on church assignment. Village life was idyllic and peaceful, without crime, no school shootings and no gangs. We used to send our pre-teen son down the street for groceries. We felt perfectly safe. Perhaps that was a similar feeling in the society in which Joseph and Mary lived as they traveled up to Jerusalem for Passover season. Perhaps that’s why they were not so concerned at first about Jesus’ safety as we might be, thinking that he may be among relatives. Still, they must have gotten just a little frantic until they found him in the Temple, talking things over with the same group of people who would later falsely accuse him and demand his death (Luke 2:41-52). Who was this boy, interested in theology at age 12?
Lost family members
Legal immigration to the United States cost me about fifteen hundred dollars with trips half way across the country and paperwork like a doctoral dissertation. How does it feel for those that we separate from their families because of unfair immigration laws? Let’s watch a video to understand how immigrant families are hurt by man’s unjust laws.
We were in a large department store in a strange land enjoying time as family when suddenly we realized that a child was missing. Panic! Where was he? We searched all over when unexpectedly an announcement came over the loudspeaker that a little boy in blue jeans, cowboy boots and a red western shirt had lost his parents. We went up to the appropriate floor where he was in the good hands of a customer service agent.
Can you imagine how it must have been for Jesus’ parents after he had gone missing for days (Luke 2:41-52)?
Have we lost Jesus?
Just like his parents lost him when he was aged 12, sometimes I wonder if we in the churches have lost Jesus. He told his parents who had frantically searched for him for days, didn't you know that I had to be in my Father’s (Luke 2:41-52)? The last word in the sentence is left out in Greek. It could be mean either house or business as different translations render it. When the church wanders off track engaged in affairs of this world, chasing trivial material or political pursuits of mere mortals, making the house of God into a market place, doing anything other than God’s business, Jesus will still be doing his Father’s business. If we have lost Jesus, it is important for us to stop what we’re doing and get back on track. What is Jesus doing?
How do we find Jesus at those times when we have lost him? We begin with stopping what we are doing, sitting at his feet and learning from him. Let’s put Jesus back in the center of our lives.