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Advent Daily Devotional: December 31


December 31 by Lois Minton

Reading: Luke 2:48-50


And when his parents 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 searching for you in great distress.” And He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” And they did not understand the saying that He spoke to them.” 

When I read this passage, several things come to my mind. The first one is “Where in the world is my lost child? Why wasn’t He with the other children in the caravan? Has something dreadful happened to Him? Has He been kidnapped? Joseph and I are supposed to be responsible for Him. What is God going to say to us if we failed at our responsibility to keep him safe? ”

Mary must have been absolutely frantic when she realized they had lost Jesus from the caravan. I know this feeling personally. When my first son Danny was three years old we went to the San Diego Zoo with him. We went into the petting zoo area with our family and son. He was so excited to be able to pet the animals and so were we. I took my eyes off of him for only a minute and all of a sudden, he was gone! We could not find him. I found myself being frantic just like Mary and Joseph. We all looked in the petting zoo and he was not there. We then called security and reported him lost. After about a half an hour security found him and we were able to be reunited. That half hour felt like an eternity so I cannot imagine what Mary and Joseph must have felt like after three or more days of missing him.

The second part that strikes me with this passage is that when they found Him – He was in the Temple and about His Father’s Business. Mary asked Jesus a question and Jesus had given her an answer but they did not understand the answer He supplied. I do not always understand the answers that God gives me when I read His Word and have questions so I know how they must have felt.

What is my Father’s Business? Is it Church fellowship, Church activities, Church music and sermons, Church missions? Or is the Father’s business about seeking the lost, comforting the down-trodden, motivating and encouraging our neighbors, restoring and rescuing those who need guidance and vision for their spirits through the power that only Jesus can bring to them? Very frankly, I love church, always have—from the time I was three and hanging around my daddy’s leg while he preached to now. But the Father’s business is more than just filling a pew on Sunday’s. It’s being open to His Spirit’s guidance and leading all the rest of the week. It’s being willing to share the Good News of Christ at every opportunity the Spirit brings to us. I think we all need to ask—are we about our Father’s Business? I challenge you to be about your Father’s business this next year. Make a resolution to get involved in service to the Lord—not just being only a Sunday spectator.

There is a Christmas Carol that fits this scenario some and it is one of my favorites.

Sweet Little Jesus Boy

Sweet little Jesus boy
They made you be born in a manger
Sweet little holy child
We didn't know who you were

Didn't know you'd come to save us Lord
To take our sins away
Our eyes were blind, we could not see
We didn't know who you were

Long time ago
You were born
Born in a manger Lord
Sweet little Jesus boy

The world treats you mean Lord
Treats me mean too
But that's how things are down here
We don't know who you are

You have told us how
We are trying
Master you have shown us how
Even when you were dying
Just seems like we can't do right
Look how we treated you
But please Sir forgive us Lord
We didn't know it was you

Sweet little Jesus boy
Born a long time ago
Sweet little holy child
We didn't know who you were

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