Luke 2:43-44 – “…the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents were unaware of it. 44 Instead, they thought that He was somewhere in the caravan, and they went a day’s journey…”
There are certain Christmas traditions that churches and families look forward to each year in celebration of the incarnation of Jesus. Christians often attend a Christmas Eve service where ‘Silent Night’ is sung with a lit candle in hand as we celebrate Jesus being the light of the world. The Christmas story is read in living rooms with prayers of thanksgiving before presents are opened in remembrance of the greatest gift the world has ever known. Advent candles are lit with readings of remembrance to all that Christ brings within His already not yet kingdom. Within these wonderful Christmas traditions comes the temptation to think of God as an abstraction. We must guard against letting the symbols and celebrations replace connecting to Christ Himself. Imagine studying a map without taking a journey; or being content to study a menu without partaking in a meal.
Luke’s Gospel tells the story of a young Jesus being left behind in Jerusalem by Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:41-52). There is no doubt that they had talked about Jesus upon discovering that he was not among them. Is it possible that amongst the pageantry of talking about Jesus, we’ve traveled awhile without His immediate presence? Let us not allow the symbols and celebrations to replace communion with Christ Himself.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for Christ’s immediate presence being made available to all who call upon His name. I pray that I will not take even one day’s journey without seeking after and being aware of Christ’s presence during this busy season. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.