1 Samuel 2: 18-20, 26
Colossians 3: 12-17
Luke 2: 41-52
How one reads this gospel story depends on whose eyes you choose to look though.
Seen from the perspective of Jesus, it is a quaint tale from his childhood, the only story from his childhood in the whole New Testament.
It shows that his greatness was evident from about the age of 12 certainly.
His wisdom and insight was amazing the priests and scribes in the Temple even at this early age and his unbroken perfect relationship with God is also evident when as way of explanation for him not being with Mary and Joseph on their return to Nazareth says,
“Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?” referring to God as his Father even then.
Have you ever been in a crowded store with your children and you look around and they are gone – you are separated – and the feeling of blind panic that comes over you!
Every worst case scenario goes through your mind from them being kidnapped by a paedophile to them feeling so lost and alone they panic and run out the shop into the road to be crushed by traffic.
The sense of relief when you find them is probably the only thing that stops you giving them a damn good hiding for wandering off in the first place.
They’d been looking for Jesus in great anxiety.
And they didn’t understand his explanation either.
Our version of the story says that Mary treasured all these things in her heart but that is not apparently an accurate translation of what Luke actually wrote.
Actually she “keeps” these things, as you do when you have experiences like that. They stay with you and you keep re-playing them over and over again.
Our own spiritual journey can feel just like Mary and Joseph looking for signs of Jesus or God in our lives.
Even when we think we have all our ducks in a row, something can happen and suddenly we cannot find God in our life and we have to look for Him again in great anxiety.
Trying to find Him in our crowded lives is our private spiritual quest – looking for Jesus.
The comfort we can gain from this story is that He was(!) found eventually. But you have to be looking. You won’t find God unless you are actively looking.
Even when you find Him, you might not completely understand what He tries to tells you but relief at finding Him at all far outweighs that sense of incomprehension – like finding a lost child.
My strong advice is that if and when you do sometimes lose sight of Him, don’t give up the search.
He is there waiting for you to find Him.. From His perspective He is exactly where He is meant to be – in His Father’s house.