Add Image Today's Photo: "Snowy Sunset"

In the gospel lesson for today (Luke 2:41-52), Jesus is already 12 years old! In the text, Jesus and his family (and lots of other people) head to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. When it's time to head back home, his parents (Mary and Joseph) assume he's somewhere in the crowd. Interestingly, this is not the case. Instead, Jesus decides to hang out in the holy city a bit longer. He teaches in the Temple and astonishes everyone with his brilliance.

Mary and Joseph aren't so impressed. In fact, they're pretty upset at Jesus for not letting them know where he was. They were really worried. Jesus basically says, "Come on. You should have known where I would be! I'm in my Father's house." The gospel lesson mentions that Mary and Joseph "did not understand what he said to them." Then, there's a happy ending. Jesus goes back to his hometown with his parents.

We don't know much at all about Jesus' first 30 years. This is one of the few stories we have.

It's fascinating. Jesus as a pre-teen. He's in the process of figuring out who he is; he's at that tender age when a person really starts going about the business of creating one's own identity.

What did you love about being 12? What scared you at that age? Have you ever run away from home? How did your parents handle it? What did faith mean to you as a pre-teen?

Dear God, thank you for the glimpses you give us into Jesus' early life. May his youthful honesty and passion for faith be an inspiration to us all.

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