Luke 2:41-52 – Missing After Passover

52 Weeks at the Table – Week 34

A boy of twelve goes missing, and we immediately fear the worst. Jesus was no ordinary boy, however, and not until a day out of Jerusalem headed for home did Joseph and Mary begin to be concerned (Luke 2:41-52). They went for the Passover feast every year, and He probably knew the way. They looked for Him among their kinfolk in the caravan, but after no more than a day and a half went by, they turned back. If you know the Story, you know that they found Him in the temple, listening and asking questions among the teachers. The teachers had obviously asked Him what He thought, for they were amazed at His answers and his comprehension.

Like any parents would, they asked, “Why have you treated us like this?” Like any twelve-year-old boy who thinks his parents know every fascination of his that makes time seem irrelevant, he answered, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Here in the temple – where He would one day be the greatest Teacher of all (Matthew 23), where his opponents would twice try to stone Him (John 8:48-58; 10:22-42), whose guards would arrest Him (Luke 22:52), where His followers would daily meet after His ascension (Acts 2:46) – was still His Father’s house, whatever destiny it might later hold.

Until the time came for His Spirit to take residence in our bodies, His new temple (1 Corinthians 6:19).

A Prayer Over the Bread

Father God, we can only admire the inimitable faith of Your Son; His confidence that You would care for Him at Your temple. And we know that His faith in Your deliverance (Luke 9:22) is our example, even though that temple was no sanctuary from evil and treachery. We pray that You will nourish us with this bread of remembrance, fill us with Your eternal Spirit, and put us about Your business in Your house now and forever. Amen.

A Prayer Over the Cup

Holy One and only God, we recognize the blood of Jesus in this cup, the blood of Your Passover Lamb, Your Son. We read that He grew in wisdom and stature; in favor with man and with You. May this cup of remembrance help us to grow in all these ways as well, ever wiser, ever stronger, ever more loving, ever more spiritual – and always closer to You. In His name, amen.

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