Be Still Know
Luke 2:48b NLT
His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
Joseph and Mary were familiar with the Jerusalem pilgrimage for Pentecost. Jesus accompanied them. Once in Jerusalem the holiday started with a ceremonial meal invested with much symbolism, and so began the eight-day festival. With a sense of family and friends, Mary and Joseph worry little about Jesus until they notice he’s missing; to mislay the Messiah is truly remarkable. They return to Jerusalem and, after a thorough search, he is found in the Temple, holding his own with the teachers.
Apparently Jesus wasn’t known for his religiosity by his parents, for they took three days before they thought of visiting the Temple, the last place they expected to find their son. It was also a source of disappointment to his parents, who took this as an act of poor communication at best, of disobedience at worst. It was in fact an interruption to Joseph and Mary’s plans for Jesus’ development. To be fair, caring for the saviour of the world did not come with any manufacturer’s instructions! The familiarity of their family routine was disturbed, and like most of us, this destabilised them and made them cross. It was inconvenient and had a far wider impact than just on the immediate family.
We can meet with God and cruise through life carrying some loosely held convictions about how the God-life should be lived. These ideas are deeply influenced by the culture within which we were formed and live. This means we can often apply culturally or religiously conditioned thinking to our pursuit of God and by doing so, may miss God’s intention by a mile. Jesus knew where he was to be, however inappropriate, and if it meant causing a measure of disturbance and anxiety, so be it. When God calls, often it is to move against the cultural tide and our sincerely held assumptions. It leads to criticism, it demands obedience and it surprises many. Yet, failure to listen, unwillingness to break with the familiar, can only delay God’s purpose for all of humanity and the entire creation.
QUESTION: To what extent do you prefer familiarity and resist change?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, forgive me for when I have expected you to act as I think best.