A friend recommended a book yesterday and as I read the introduction, I was struck by this insight:
We are often like Jesus' parents who left Him in Jerusalem after the Passover. We follow the prescribed path of obedience, celebration, or discipline then continue on our way, never realizing Jesus' absence.
And that's exactly the passage that was next on my personal reading venture for today: Luke 2:41-52.
Jesus said, "Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?"
But Joseph and Mary did not know Jesus well enough to predict His absence from them and His presence at the temple. They did not understand His need and desire to talk about heavenly things, to immerse Himself in His Father’s business. They left Jerusalem fully expecting that their desires took precedence over Jesus’ and that Jesus would follow if only they led.
How easy it is to leave Jesus in Jerusalem! To go about my business and assume that He’s with me just because it’s what I want to do. And as I go through the routine of today, in preparation for Christmas, I need to stop and ask, "Where's Jesus?"
As I send children off to school for the day: "Where's Jesus?"
As I sort laundry, sweep floors, and pick up misplaced items: "Is Jesus here?"
As I write notes on Christmas letters, wrap gifts, plan holiday parties: "Is Jesus coming?"
As I call friends, send email responses, and facebook replies: "Have you seen Jesus?"
I pray that this Christmas season will be one where His presence is acknowledged and felt in each encounter, each pursuit, and each step of the journey--or that I will choose to return to "Jerusalem" and sit at His feet until He is ready to go....