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 travelers, 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[a] 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?”[b] 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,[c] and in divine and human favor. (Luke 2:41-52 NRSV)
For the past several weeks we’ve discussed the question, “What are you looking for in the new year?”
What does your list look like?
Perhaps you want to lose weight and get in shape; learn a new craft; study a new topic. Most of us want to be a better person, whatever that means.
Perhaps we can look to the example Jesus set. He “increased in wisdom and in years…” (verse 51.) Jesus, the Son of God, had to grow up and learn. He sat in the temple for three days listening and asking questions. That his questions held depth doesn’t surprise us. That he had much to learn serves as a reminder that this Son of the Most High was fully divine AND fully human.
We can do no less than to increase in wisdom. Once again, I ask the question: What are you looking for in the new year?”
Our search can be found in prayer. Perhaps you have already discerned your next steps. Our search can also be found in scripture. I discovered a worthy passage in Colossians this week. “As God’s chosen ones, holy [set apart] and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 NRSV)
Compassion means to walk alongside someone with the idea of being open to their plight. We can always use kindness and meekness and patience in the world. Are any of these speaking to you?
I have known toxic people and I think you have, as well. It only takes one to create havoc in a group of friends. Just one person with a poisonous tongue and a group will eventually fall apart unless they confront the toxicity. It works the other way around, as well. Margaret Mead said it best, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Black Lives Matter. #Me Too. These are movements that began with only a few people willing to stand up and say something important.
So, on this cold, cold Sunday with 2018 coming to a close and 2019 arriving fresh and new, what do you want? What do you yearn for?
What will you do differently in your tiny corner of the kingdom?
All glory and honor be to God.