And the Child grew and became strong in spirit,filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
I thought about this a lot today…Jesus being about His Father’s business. Mary and Joseph didn’t quite get what He was saying…I imagine that, despite the dramatic birth of their firstborn, once the other kids came along and life beat along to its regular rhythm…maybe the prophecies and promises kind of slipped away from them sometimes.
Whether or not the knowledge of Jesus’ true identity was at the forefront of his earthly parents’ minds…Jesus never forgot, for one second, His mission.
I pondered this for a while today, wondering what this means for us.
And then, driving over to pick my boys up from school, I started to notice something.
I noticed trees, branches spread high, providing shade over this curving road.
Captured by a sudden urge to just stop and take in the warm breezes, I pulled over at the community park. And there I saw this field, waking up from its long winter’s nap.
I looked up and saw a clear blue sky, spotted with poofs of clouds. I thought about those clouds…how they’d hold moisture if it was required of them, how they’d rain down life-giving water over the dry earth, into rivers and streams, adding their worth to the oceans.
And yellow flowers, brightly shining.
And this is when it really begin to soak into my heart, how going about our Father’s business requires us to be who He made us to be…and to glorify Him wherever He has planted us.
If you feel surrounded with rocks and brambles, will you still worship? I remember that the rocks will cry out in praise if we don’t, and I smile at these grey boulders. Even they would witness to His wonders. Even they would adore Him.
Standing there, in this field of wishes, I was grateful. For who He is. For His endless creativity and boundless love.
And then the best thing. Because when we look for God, we start to see Him everywhere. He does not hide Himself for those who seek Him with sincere hearts. And even in this tiny creature who landed right in front of my feet, I see His touch.
In the planting, the weeding, the fertilizing, the harvesting….
…in the crazy-cool palm tree unafraid to be different from its pine-neighbors…
…in the chalk artwork I discovered on my driveway…
…in the searching eyes of the cat that crossed my path…I see His touch.
In the smile of this boy, who ran into the yard to blow dandelions into the breeze and wanted his mom to have one, too….there is such goodness here, and that goodness comes from a most wise and patient Father, who loves to give good things to His children. And I hope that I can remember to come to Him like a chid…
…because children still know how to fall, uninhibited, into a field of grass…joyfully, they know to run through His world, to enjoy His good work. And I look around and know that this is worship, on a Friday afternoon in my backyard, all of us lifting up praise to our Father.
May we go about our Father’s business, eyes open to Him everywhere we look.