Luke 2:41-52 (NRSV)

41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.   

Luke 2:49 (NRSV)

49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

DEVOTION – Michael Adam Beck (Florida)

I am a father of eight children in a blended family.  My wife and I both serve as stepparents to children from previous marriages.  Being a stepparent is often a tough and thankless job.  We have both heard words like:  “You’re mot my daddy” or “I don’t have to listen to you.”  While blended-family dynamics are often difficult, our family is strengthened as we have faced and overcome obstacles.  Knowing that God’s grace is greater than divorce and brokenness, we keep Christ at the center of our family.

Realizing that God through Christ Jesus chose to enter a human family gives us hope.  In today’s reading, Luke’s Gospel shares a very human situation from Jesus’ childhood.  Mary and Joseph lost Jesus in Jerusalem.  After searching for three days they found him, not at home but in the temple.  I can imagine Joseph’s feelings when Jesus told them,  “Did you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

This story reminds me that God is the Father of us all.  The good news is that Christ experienced a human life, a human family, and a human death to pay the penalty for our sins.  Through Christ’s sacrifice we are all one blended family, and we too can claim God as our Father.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We are all children of God.

PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, we thank you that through Christ we are all one family.  Amen.