2018-19 RCL-C Christmas 01
Additional Resources for Proclamation & Preaching
First Sunday After Christmas: December 30, 2018 • Gospel Text: Luke 2:41-52
Treasure Beauty When It Greets You
Proclamation for Today
by Rev. Dr. Clint Schnekloth
Jesus in his tween visit to Jerusalem becomes an event, a catch, a liminal moment his mother can only treasure. How should we consider it? “Not Homer alone but Plato, Aquinas, Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius, Dante, and many others repeatedly describe beauty as a “greeting.” At the moment one comes into the presence of something beautiful, it greets you. It lifts away from the natural background as though coming forward to welcome you—as though the object were designed to “fit” your perception” (On Beauty and Being Just, Elaine Scarry, 25).
It’s always been a frustration of readers, the limited record we have of this period in the life of Jesus. We have so little. The childhood of Jesus is basically absent from the historical record and is mentioned only once, post-nativity, in the Gospels. The text for this Sunday. Everything else we have is speculation, folk stories collected into apocryphal books and… fiction.
Some authors have even written extensive novel-length treatments of these in-between years of Jesus. Anne Rice may be the most famous. Her Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt is an attempt, relying heavily on the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas.
Let’s admit this: it’s a great idea for a novel, writing the story of Jesus between his nativity and his baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan. It’s probably worth trying, and somebody probably will eventually write one, and write it well.
In the meantime, preachers get to do something altogether different. They get to share this one story, preach this one moment in the life of Jesus. We get to approach it the way Jesus’ own mother approach it—as a treasure to be held close, in the heart. Jesus stay in Jerusalem tells us not only where Jesus has come from, but also where he is going. We get to do what preachers are always called to do: find the expansive beauty in an ancient, simple, small thing.
One brief text that encompasses a whole world.
The following links and resources are not produced or maintained by RCL Worship Resources or Clergy Stuff. However, at the time of this posting, the links were active and considered to be good source material for proclamation for the text for this week. Please scroll down or click on the quick jump menu you find below. Click here for more free RCL worship resources & planning materials.
Historical Exegetical Resources
"Christ About His Father's Business," Luke 2:49, Charles H. Spurgeon, 1857.
From the Commentary on the Whole Bible (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, 1871).
"A Lost Child?" Bob Cornwall, Ponderings on a Faith Journey.
"Looking for Jesus," Jim Kast-Keat, ON Scripture, Odyssey Network.
“Christmas Leftover Recipes” BBC Good Food
“I think to myself, what a wonderful world” The Listening Hermit
Video: Children’s Resource
“Jesus is Lost” Saddleback Kids. YouTube link.
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Dramatic Reading of the Text
Readers: Narrator, Mary, Jesus
Narrator: Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 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. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him,
Mary: “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.”
Narrator: He said to them,
Jesus: “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Narrator: But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.