Mary treasured it all. The obedience. The disobedience. The moments of parental pride. The moments of despair and confusion. She bore witness to it all. Life as Jesus’s mother was not conventional, commonplace or customary. Right from the beginning her life was turned upside down and the incident described here in Luke of Jesus wandering off to school the old timers in the temple gives us a tantalising glimpse in to the years of Jesus’s life between birth and the start of his later ministry. Verse 52 suggests Jesus was likeable and smart - a good kid - but still one that could go missing for several days, causing a commotion. It also says he ‘increased’ in wisdom - God through incarnation increased in wisdom, continued to develop, to learn what life was like for us, as one of us.
Life doesn’t always go in a straight line, even when you are the incarnated Son of God, even when you are the mother of the incarnated Son of God. As communities of Christians we are invited to treasure the range of things that happen, the twists and the turns in the journey - the moments of brilliance and rebellion - but also the moments of uncertainty and difficulty that allow the moments of brilliance and rebellion to happen.
Dear Treasure Keeper,
Bless the treasures we hold dear to our heart,
the people we have loved,
the memories we cherish,
the places that have held us.
Let us remember and let us forget,
let us grow wiser and let us grow fonder.
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.