the center of love
And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them.
As a young man of 12 (prior to the acknowledged age of maturity for a Jewish young man â€“ the age of 13), Jesus was already maturely aware that He had been sent to carry out His Fatherâ€™s will, to be close to His Father in heaven in all that He was to say and do. Of course Mary and Joseph did not fully understand that. They would have expected Jesus to still be immature in the knowledge of God.
Jesus clearly points out that He had to be about His Fatherâ€™s work regardless of whether the world or His human parents saw Him as mature or immature. He shows us that the perceptions of the world do not matter as long as we stay focused on our true work.
How hard it is for us to stay true to Godâ€™s work among the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Childrenâ€™s lives are fully programmed. Youth are busy with studies, sports, extracurricular activities and homework of course. Many parentâ€™s work lives seem never ending now that we are connected 24/7 will smartphones. Retirement doesnâ€™t mean sitting in a rocking chair anymore.
Staying true to God, to our faith in Christ, to the work the Holy Spirit calls us to do, requires an environment that places being in the Fatherâ€™s presence as the greatest good. All the education, money, talent, and activities in the world are worth nothing if we loose our souls â€“ our relationship to God and our heavenly family â€“ in the process.
The environment that is our support, that shows us the way to eternal success, and that keeps us true and present to God is family â€“the Christian family. Family that believes in love, which is truly connected to the truth of love, will place God first and foremost in its life. That family will pray together, will worship together, will live in faithfulness to each other, will support and prepare each other for a life that is forever.
What a worthless gift we leave if we only provide for the near term. Godâ€™s family â€“ provides forever.
Jesus sat in His Fatherâ€™s presence in the temple, feeling at home, breathing the air of His own proper place. As families in Christ â€“ centers of love â€“ let us follow Jesus. Let us be present to God, breathe His life as our greatest goal, our desired good, and as our gift of love to each other â€“ parents, children, and grandchildren.