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Good Morning MVC - May 8thby Kami Wright on May 8, 2020
What a BEAUTIFUL DAY, MVC!
I was flipping through old Sunday School coloring books this week and found an image that usually isn't in the books. It was part of the material to be handed out when teaching about Jesus staying behind at the temple to talk with the elders after his parents were already a day's journey back to Nazareth. Before I tell you what the scene on the page was, I'm going todramatically and drastically paraphrase a part of the story found in Luke 2:41-52
"Where do you think he is?" Mary asked, whirling around to face Joseph who stood looking over the landscape at each passing face. She was frantic. They had assumed that Jesus was in the caravan of families headed back to Nazareth when they left Jerusalem that morning.
"I don't know, Mary," Joseph answered, I thought he was walking with the women.
"He's not there! He’s 12 now so I thought he was walking with you and the men! I can't find him anywhere! He must still be in Jerusalem!" A knot was swelling in her throat, and her heart and mind was racing. Where was her boy?
It's at this point, I imagine Mary having the exact same moment that Kevin McAllister's mom had in the movie Home Alone as she processes the reality and yells for the caravan of travelers around her to hear, "We forgot JESUS!"
I love that Jesus's first recorded words in the Bible are with his mother as the situation between them is being sorted in a real but also profound manner. The conflict rests in two competing responsibilities. Jesus is explaining that he had to be about his Father's work. His mother’s work, though, was to be about her son Jesus.
The coloring page book was a drawing of the long walk back to Nazareth, the temple in the distance, with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on the road. How does one incorporate that into the lesson? “Hey kids, remember all those times you frustrated your parents and the ride home from wherever you were was uncomfortable for everyone? Same with Jesus when he was 12!” I think it's wonderful that this story was included in the bible and not edited out. It is so profound on so many levels and could be studied for days in the subtext.
I love to joke with parents on the 3rd floor of the church who are looking for their kids who have run off after Sunday School. I get to say the classic line, “Don’t worry! Even Mary and Joseph lost Jesus at church!” But before we condemn Joseph and Mary for making it through an entire day without realizing Jesus wasn't there, we should remember how easy it is for us to travel a day supposing Jesus to be in our company when actually we lost contact with Him before we even got out of the driveway. Unconfessed sin, lack of thought, lack of prayer -- all of these things in our lives distance us from Jesus without us realizing it. In order to re-establish contact, we must go back to meet Him. Thankfully it's a short journey, but it's a necessary and meaningful one. It can be done anywhere, anytime, with one heartfelt moment in verbal or silent prayer with Him.
Finally, let's not forget to look for where the Father is working and join Him there. For Jesus, his Father's business was in the conversation with the elders in the temple. For you, it might be sitting down for intentional play with your kids or reaching out to a lonely friend. Look and listen for His leading in the moment and head in that direction. Note: if you're a kid following the prompting of the Spirit to help somewhere, just please do your dear mom a favor and let her know where you're going! 🙂
MVC's Love and Mine,