“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’
‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” – Luke 2:46-51
When a child is lost and found, the first inclination is to take that child, hug it and pamper it because your joy is so great. Losing a child is not a pleasant experience.
If you have ever lost your child or any child left in your care, you can appreciate what Mary and Joseph must have gone through. They had lost their child, Jesus.
I have had the experience of losing a child on several occasions. I pray that I never go through such an experience ever again.
Your child is right beside you, and then for a moment you look away, and the child disappears. You look everywhere, but he or she is nowhere to be found. You cannot find your child.
This experience is nerve wrecking. You are going crazy with fear and all kinds of stupid ideas are running through your mind until you find your child.
At the age of 12, Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, found him in the temple, a place that was as safe as they could imagine. In the temple, Jesus was learning and teaching about the covenant and Passover, doing his father’s business.
Luke portrays Jesus growing up as a real boy – a true human – while at the same time he was the son of God, going about his father’s business. The story ties his role as the son to his father’s temple; in that place he carried out the work the father had entrusted to him.
The temple also points to Jesus as the incarnate one. The temple was the dwelling place of God among his people.
It was the custom of his family like most Jewish families, to go to Jerusalem each year for Passover, fulfilling a religious responsibility. This probably was not Jesus’ first trip to Jerusalem with his parents.
Passover in Jerusalem was probably exciting. There was a festive atmosphere and family reunions, and ancient biblical liturgical traditions. A child could treasure the historical and theological components of this journey.
The Passover meal began with a child’s question: “Why is this night different from all other nights?” Then they told the story of God’s saving act.
Jesus was entrusted with the mission of redemption – a new Passover for all people. This new covenant would not come through the blood of a lamb, but through his own suffering and his innocent blood, on the altar of the cross.
We are members of the new covenant established by the shedding of Christ’s blood. Similar to the first Passover experience, we are marked with his blood, Consequently, God passes over our sin. The new Passover meal over which we partake is the Lord’s Supper, for the forgiveness of sin.
Nourished and strengthened for our journey home, let us recommit ourselves to being faithful. Let us be faithful in the task that God has entrusted to us. That task is to take this good news to a new generation, especially during this new year 2021.
Jesus the faithful one will be with us as we live out our baptismal faith. Yes, we need Jesus, the faithful one. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: email@example.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.