Our December 26 Sunday worship service is available on video through Facebook. You may view it without being a member of Facebook. We are excited to say that our Sunday 8 & 10:30 am services are open again for in-person worship. Services will continue to be streamed online.
The January 2 Sunday worship service will be held with in-person attendance. We have returned to regular in-person worship services. With an upturn in county COVID cases, we recommend masks even for those who are vaccinated.
We are glad to share our worship with you. Click on “Contact Us” above to find out more about our faith family and what we believe.
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26 | Psalm 148
Colossians 3:12-17 | Luke 2:41-52
The family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. As many families have traveled for these holidays. The text tells us that Joseph and Mary did this every year, as did many families in Palestine. This by the way, is the only childhood story of Jesus recorded in the Bible. It is also the second time that Luke records Jesus in the Temple, but every time he is in the Temple it is significant. The first time, Simeon and Anna proclaimed the infant Jesus to be God’s promised Messiah. The next time that he will be recorded in the Temple will be when he “Cleanses the Temple,” and then, it will be during Holy Week.
They traveled with a larger group, probably kinsmen and neighbors. This was for protection from robbers, but also for fellowship on the trip, it was a long walk, about 65 miles. Joseph and Mary thought on the trip home that Jesus was with one of the other families. But, at the end of the first day’s trip back to Galilee, he wasn’t with the group. Has anyone here ever lost a child in a store or mall? You can probably relate to this story. So, no doubt frantically, they journeyed back another day’s journey to Jerusalem. They then search for 3 days, and finally find him in the Temple. He was missing for about 4 to 5 days. Is Jesus frantic? No, but Joseph and Mary are. Jesus, however, is calmly in the Temple, teaching and asking questions – this is a foretaste of the things that are to come when he is an adult. The stage for his teaching ministry is already set.
We have probably witnessed this kind of scene. A child is lost, actually more than likely just misplaced. When the child is crying, that is when you know the child knows that it is lost. If the child is just wandering around, taking everything in, then the child isn’t really lost, the parents just don’t know where the child is. There is a difference. Be that as it may, there is always the worry, distraction and anger of the parents. They fear that the worst may have happened to their child. They show their love for their child. And then when they finally find the child, all of that pent up emotion comes forth as one of the most joyful reunions, followed by the child’s greatest scolding and/or beatings. “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” That’s what is recorded, in my experience; it probably went down hill from there real fast.
But, again, Jesus is calm. He is really matter of fact about this whole thing. “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” The Greek is closer to “about my Father’s business, or my Father’s affairs.” That set Joseph and Mary aback. Jesus is being more than a bit precocious. Starting to teach already, at age 12, he is nowhere near the age of even being considered an adult in Jewish society, which was 30 years of age; let alone, old enough to be considered a rabbi, a teacher. But Joseph and Mary should have known this, especially Mary. She had been told by the Archangel Gabriel of things that were to come. We are told that Mary, pondered (or treasured) these things in her heart. We are told several times in the Gospels, that Mary ponders what Jesus does in her heart. She never really seems to understand what he is doing, nor what is going on. And you thought that the so called “Generation Gap,” as it was labeled a few decades ago, was a new phenomenon of the 20th century? No. People are just recognizing it more, and more.
But, we are also told that Jesus goes back to Nazareth with them, and that he was obedient to them. That scolding and spanking must have been to good effect! That obedience is a precursor to the obedience he would show to God later. And in the time after this story, he increased in wisdom and years and in divine and human favor. Translation: He was a good kid.
The story tells us, that the stage is set. Things are already beginning. Jesus will return to teach in the Temple, not as Joseph and Mary’s boy, but as the Messiah, God’s son, or Emmanuel, literally “God with us.” And that he will return to us again, as the risen Lord. Obedient to God, God his Father, whose business he must carry out, and whose affairs he will accomplish, in obedience to God, but also for the sake of all people, even the whole world. As Paul writes, “Obedient even unto death.” For, he is God’s plan for us, and in this story, we see that those plans were already beginning to come to fruition.