Thought for the Day from Katherine-Alice Grasham of All Hallows’:
Have you ever got yourself lost from the people you were with? That sinking feeling as you realise you don’t know where your friends or family are, and you might never find them? It’s terrifying. And how much more so for a mother who cannot find her son?
In today’s passage from Luke 2, Jesus stays behind in Jerusalem whilst his family travel on to Nazareth, and his poor parents are beside themselves with worry. I’ve always sympathised more with Mary and Joseph in this passage, although I love that Jesus was drawn to the temple to learn and teach. But my first instinct is always “that’s all very well Jesus, but you should have told your mum where you were, young man.”
I pride myself on being a bit of a “mum friend”. I always like to know people have got home safely, I’m usually the designated driver, and my bag is full of plasters and snacks, just in case anyone needs them. But sometimes in my over-preparedness, I forget to stop and sit and listen to God (see also Mary and Martha!) Perhaps I need to be better at just stopping at my Father’s house, and if anyone needs me, they’ll know that’s where I’ll be.
I suppose this is a story that encourages us to see things from both sides. We absolutely cannot fault Mary and Joseph for being concerned for their son, and we should strive for the same care and concern for our loved ones, but Jesus’ inclination to be in the temple, surrounded by others and learning more of God may not be our first instinct, but it should be the one that we make an extra effort towards. And if we’re needed, our loved ones will know where we are.