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Giving honor

by davesandel on December 31st, 2011

Luke 2:41-52

         When Jesus was twelve years old, Jesus’ parents went as usual to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.  But when they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind.  They journeyed for a whole day before realizing he wasn’t with their family or neighbors, and went back to Jerusalem.

         The found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening and asking questions.  The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers.  But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.

         Jesus said to them, “Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?”  Then he went back to Nazareth and lived obediently with them.

         His mother treasured these things deeply within herself.  And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.

Being either a parent or an adolescent really brings out our human-ness, even in these pre-eminent children of God, the Holy Family.

No wonder the exclamation, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” became so popular.  Even the best in us gets smothered sometimes in ego, fear and carelessness.  This falling into self, we will always have with us.

In moments like these the sweet spot is always in the recovery. When we fall from grace, we can recover gracefully.  Jesus’ words separated him from his parents, but his actions brought them back together.  “He went back to Nazareth and lived obediently with them.”  Mary and Joseph’s anger and fear pushed Jesus away, but they moved past their hurt feelings.  “Mary treasured these things deeply within herself.”

What was the result?  Jesus, and his parents too, “matured, growing up in both body and spirit.”

Under my own thin patchwork of self-protection, under my thick underbelly of ego-fat, lies spiritual muscle and bone that do not respond to offense or fear.  This deeper part of me is connected to its Source.  God waits while I suffer in my more shallow parts.  He waits and, at just the right time, beckons me in.

Time after time in our lives, God allows us to begin again to be obedient children and/or loving parents.  He will sort out the details, if we just make the choice.

As children or parents, we’ve only got each other.

And God casts his grace upon us all.

Lord, this year, and every year, you rule the world with justice and your people with persistent faithfulness.  Let us be glad for your grace and justice; with all the trees of the forest, let us rejoice before you.

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One Comment
  1. A C Sollind (Ms) permalink

    Thank you. Helpful.

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