Luke 2:41 – 52
Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.
Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.
Lost and Found
We know this story and we know exactly how Mary and Joseph felt. Say, you lose your kiddo in Wal-Mart. When you finally find him in the toy aisle, do you say, “Oh! I love you! I am so happy to find you?”
No. In fear and anger, we fuss just like Mary and Joseph did when after three terrifying days of searching, they finally found Jesus in the Temple, “How could you do this to us?!” And like our own kiddo might explain, so did Jesus when he told them he was just hanging out where he wanted to be.
When distressing events strike, whether an illness, an accident or losing a kid in Wal-Mart, we strike out in anger, often accusing God, “How could you have let this happen!? How could you do this to me!?””
God knows we live in an irrational world where bad things happen to good people. Tragedies are everyday occurrences, not the work of God. His work employs our faith to give us hope, stamina, and perseverance to endure whatever happens, good or bad. That is the power of faith so that we, like Jesus once found, can go home to grow in wisdom and in divine and human favor. That is what prepared Jesus for the adversity he would face as an adult, and that is what prepares us to live in this world.
We pray. Oh Lord, you are in the midst of us and we are called by your name. Do not forsake us, Oh Lord our God. Amen