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Parents, what would be like to raise Jesus as your child?
Kids, what would it be like if Jesus was your brother?
Imagine what it would have been like to the be Earthly parents of Jesus when he was just a boy, growing up in an everyday setting.
Many authors have tried. Some early writers, approximately a hundred years after the apostles wrote the gospels, wrote stories about Jesus making birds out of clay and then bringing them to life to entertain other children. Another story is told of Jesus learning the ropes of his power by hurting and then healing boys he played with.
It is interesting how little the Gospel writers actually say about boy Jesus. What they do say is telling - Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, favour with men and with God. Four ways to mature - smarts, heights, friends and faith. Jesus was well on his way to becoming the prophesied Messiah.
But, back to the question, what would it have been like to be Jesus’ mum or dad? Our verse for today tells us something about the impact Jesus had on His mum. It is from the end of the story of Jesus wowing the scholars in the temple. Jesus is oddly surprised when his parents do not know where to look for Him. And, deep in theological reflection, He seems to have lost track of the time - Three days, no less! Mary loved this little story. So much that Luke says, “His mother kept all these things in her heart.”
Luke 2 is a snapshot - an overview, of sorts - of Jesus’ life from birth until age 12. It starts and finishes with a comment about his mother, Mary. After the shepherds heard angels testify of the Saviour's birth, they rushed to find the babe in a manger. After cooing at the baby and telling His parents all they had heard, Luke records that, “Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.” If you read this in the flowing context of Luke 2, you see that this is a reflective statement - an after the fact remembrance - almost as if Mary was sitting next to Luke as he wrote the words and, clutching her hands to her chest she said, “Oh Luke, the moments, hours and days I spent meditating on those early moments! The treasure of those shepherds words lasted far longer than the gold, frankincense or Myrrh.”
What was it like to parent Jesus? Evidently, it was something to treasure, something to hold close to your heart, something to meditation upon. Much like parenting the children God gave you. Think of all the stories from their infancy - the first smile, first step, first Dad joke, first birthday. The special stories of struggles and achievements unique to the children in your family. Like Mary, hold them close to your heart. Meditate upon them.
Every child is a priceless treasure!
What is a favourite childhood story that you hold close to your heart?
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?
Being Like Jesus, Feb 25
Being Like Jesus, Feb 25