December 30, 2018

Reading Luke 2: 41-52 (NRSV)

Jesus was born, and then he grew up.

Last week, we celebrated his birth. In today’s reading, Jesus is already worrying his parents.

It is a huge misunderstanding. His parents think Jesus is with the group; when he isn’t, they look all over Jerusalem. After finding him, Mary chastises Jesus. Jesus thinks his parents should have known where he is. Being in the temple is only natural for him; he thinks it should be their first comforting thought rather than a third-day-frantic, faint-hope scenario.

Ultimately, Jesus continues to grow, and Mary treasures the memories.

Like Jesus’ parents, we celebrate a child’s first separation at birth, then worry at each further separation, every independent thought, as the child grows up.

With my young grandkids, we celebrated the long-awaited arrival of Christmas. Then misunderstandings arose; we didn’t have their same expectation of opening every wrapped present now. Like Mary, I chastised first, and understood afterwards. It was only natural. Grandma just couldn’t keep up.

Fortunately, Mary’s reprimand does not seem to stunt Jesus’ growth; with God’s help, our mistakes won’t hinder the growth of our children.

Hopefully, like Mary, we will treasure the memories.

Let us pray. O, God, thank you for creating us to have independent thought, and for your support and guidance as we grow up. Forgive us for worrying you. May we celebrate the growth of your children, seek to resolve misunderstandings, and treasure the memories of our times together. Amen.

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