Losing Jesus (January 25, 2012)

…Opening To…

It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of His presence. (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain)

…Listening In…

When they didn’t find Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple. He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them and putting questions to them. Everyone who heard him was amazed by his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were shocked. His mother said, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Listen! Your father and I have been worried. We’ve been looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he said to them. (Luke 2:45-50; context)

…Filling Up…

Before we transition to the good news, let’s pause for a day and check out a story from the Gospel that moves from desolation to consolation.

While our desolation may happen when we think God is gone, Mary’s desolate moment happens when she literally loses Jesus. The family has been attending the festival of the Passover in Jerusalem. They start their journey back to Nazareth, and Jesus is not with them. But they’re not worried because the caravan is peopled with family and friends; surely, he’s wandered off to chat with some favorite uncle. A day out, Mary and Joseph realize Jesus is missing. They rush back to Jerusalem, frightened, anxious. They search for three frantic days. As someone who has only experienced the combination of harsh words and fervent embraces that accompany a parent finding a lost child, I can only imagine the desolation that those three days brought to Mary’s soul.

On the third day, Mary’s search brings her to the temple. And there she finds Jesus, safe and sound and unaware of the years his absence has shaved off his mother’s life. What was lost, Mary now has found. The nightmare scenarios she has been imagining have not come to pass, but her heart continues to pound anyway – it pounds out of love and relief and jubilation. Desolation gives way to the warmth, the electricity of consolation, which we will talk about tomorrow. For now, put yourself in Mary’s shoes. What would it be like for us to find Jesus?

…Praying For…

Dear God, whenever I am lost, you seek me out, find me, and bring me home to you. Help me to search for you with the same diligence and welcome you with open arms. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, and wherever I am – whether in the garden or the wasteland – I pray that you help me see your presence in my life.

One thought on “Losing Jesus (January 25, 2012)

  1. I would hope that when God finds me, I welcome God. Jesus apparently was a typical teenager in his response to his mother’s frantic worry.

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