Teenage/Not the Baby Jesus
Here's a summary of Lee's message from our Thursday dinner and worship this week. It was a good one. We enjoyed a baked potato bar and brownies!
Last week, we got into a very awkward passage of scripture about the conception of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. This week Luke provides a narrative of Jesus as a little 12 year old boy. The story that Luke tells us is supposed to be a little humorous and a little scary all at the same time... Jesus gets left by his parents, but he does it on purpose. Jesus seems mischievous and weird. Other gospels depict the adolescent Jesus being even more sneaky and strange (something Luke may not have liked). The Gospel of Thomas (a gospel, but not one that made the cut into the Bible, for reasons which will be obvious in just one more sentence) shows Jesus making little birds out of clay and turning them into real birds and letting them fly away. Another little boy thinks this makes Jesus weird and he picks on Jesus – Jesus then kills the little boy (What?! WOAH!). The little boy is later resurrected, so all was well, I guess???
The story in Luke creates a scene in which we can all identify. Mary was the mother of the Son of God – that’s not an easy task. She probably is a parent and didn’t want Jesus to be hurt. But through all of that Jesus’ parents forget who he was and who he is. He was no longer the cute baby that we all see and remember during Christmas. He grew up and moved on like we do.
Luke takes us from the baby into: the learning, not being around our parents, our parents not being around us, the getting to know who our Jesus is, getting to know who we are. And like Jesus’ parents, our families may not understand where God is calling us or the questions we have. The Jesus in this story was different as we too are called to be different – but he was different because he was himself. So this story tells us to be different by being ourselves during a time where we are called to go out and be Christians in the world. And it is there in those moments that we shall find God and others may join, even our parents.