Daily Worship

Looking in all the wrong boxes

James Cathcart December 29, 2021 0 0
Image credit: Unsplash
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Luke 2: 41-52 (NRSVA)

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 travellers, 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 favour.

Mary and Joseph, at their wits’ end, terrified, desperately trying to find Jesus but looking in all the wrong places…

But who hasn’t looked for Jesus in all the wrong places? Especially at this time of year.

Surely Jesus is at the department store walking with you as you go up and down the aisles searching for the most thoughtful gift for your friend as a small token to thank her for everything? After all she’s done for you this year?

And surely Jesus is in the kitchen guiding you through the steps of the perfect meal — that allows you all to have this one perfect day together without incident or argument.

And surely Jesus is in a church pew, in a festive jumper, having a magical time, clapping and swaying away, and nodding thoughtfully through all the prayers?

And yet somehow you missed him.

For Jesus was at the department store. But he was round the back where the deliveries come in where a young lad slept last night as he had nowhere else to go.

And Jesus was part of your meal prep but he left you to it in the kitchen he and he sat next to Jean who was sitting by herself with a chopping board on the table cutting the sprouts all wrong, taking much too long and forgetting all the careful instructions and the herbs while she was at it. And Jesus was smiling at her with eyes full of love.

And he was at the church but he wasn’t in a pew, he was sitting at the doorway, listening to the hymns, but looking out at the big wild world his Father made and hearing its music too.




Jesus, we search for you

and you find us.