Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.
Thinking he was in their company, they travelled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished.
His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Joseph and Mary take Jesus, age 12 to Jerusalem for Passover. On return, they do an entire day of travel supposing that he is with them before realising that he is not.
In my first term of university, I have made the very same mistake.
I have blasted off ahead; relying on my own strength, overly confident in my own gifts and resources and for a number of weeks all seemed to be well. Like Mary and Joseph I have been wrapped up in the movement of the crowd and arrogantly assumed Jesus was following on behind me.
It is worrying how far Mary and Joseph get before realising they’ve lost their son. It is worrying how far I’ve got before realising it’s been a while since I checked in with God, especially when I claim I’ve been entirely focused on Him all along.
In the same way Mary accuses Jesus of treating his parents badly, I have been accusing Jesus of being distant and treating me badly. The truth is, he doesn’t walk away from me, it is me that has strayed from him. Then when I panic and begin anxiously searching for him in the overwhelming mess where I claim he’s deserted me, his response is the same as it is to Mary…
“Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Why is my instinct to panic? Why am I anxious at all? The answer to the search is obvious; God’s house stands firm even through our turmoil, and the door is always open.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2
Katrina is a first year Sports student at studying at Durham University. Although often missing her wonderful Cambridge home, Katrina has found Durham to be a hard place not to fall in love with. She is settling into university life by attempting to try all the coffee shops (despite not drinking coffee)! Katrina is passionate about watching girls grow with the assurance and knowledge that they are valuable and crazily loved daughters of God.