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Luke 2:41-52, Lost Children & Jesus Reveals His Mission

Key Verse

When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.
— Luke 2:43

RCL Daily Devotion for Sunday, December 30, 2018

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Mall Busy-ness

Main Idea: Jesus, at 12, showed who he was – his most authentic self.

When my son was 4, I lost him at the mall. I was in a shop looking at a circular rack of clothing when I realized I couldn’t hear or see him. I ran to the entrance of the shop, scanning up and down the mall furiously. When I didn’t spot him right away, I quickly returned to the rack to retrace our steps. It was then that I found him huddled in the center of the clothing rack I was just looking at. I was simultaneously relieved and infuriated. But then I realized he was playing hide-and-seek with me. And while the timing and location were terrible, he was just being authentically himself. It was in his nature to play.

When Mary and Joseph traveled a day’s journey without noticing Jesus was missing, they were being authentic to their culture. They looked out for each other then. It wasn’t neglect that made them unaware of his absence. They had every reason to believe he was traveling with one of the many family and friends in their caravan. To their credit, it didn’t take long for them to discover him missing.

When they arrived back in Jerusalem, it took three days to find him in the temple, where he was listening and learning from the teachers. While the timing and location were terrible, Jesus was just being authentically himself. It was in his nature to question and learn about God. Even as a boy, Jesus seemed to have a mature and enlightened view of the things of God. He saw God as his Father, a more intimate relationship than was the custom of the time. He saw things that others did not yet see. Jesus’ authentic self, even as a boy, helped bring the world closer to God.

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Full Daily Reading for the Revised Common Lectionary

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Luke 2:41-52 (NRSV)

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