Friday, December 28, 2012

Lost and Found

Lost and Found
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Scripture: Luke 2:41-52
Prop: Print-out of the "Lost Dog" Flyer

Good morning, girls and boys! 

Have any of you ever lost a pet?  Maybe your dog got out of the yard and you couldn't find him.  You probably walked through the neighborhood with your mom or dad, calling the dog's name.  Maybe you rode around in the car, searching and calling for your beloved pet.  If you still couldn't find him, you might have put up posters in your neighborhood like this one, hoping someone would find him and call you to come and get him.  And while your pet is on his great adventure, you were probably worried and afraid that he was hurt or lost or afraid himself, right?

Each year, when Jesus was growing up, his family traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Festival.  They went with a big group of friends and relatives.  The journey took longer than a day, so the group camped overnight along the way.  It sounds like fun, doesn't it!

When Jesus was 12 years old, he made the trip to Jerusalem with his parents like he had every year as long as he could remember.  They enjoyed the festival, and then everyone started the long trek home--everyone, that is, except Jesus.  But Mary and Joseph didn't know Jesus was missing.  They thought he was somewhere in their large group of travelers.  It wasn't until after walking all day and setting up camp that they realized their boy wasn't there.

They checked the campsites of Jesus' friends and cousins, but he was nowhere to be found.  So Mary and Joseph started the long walk back to Jerusalem.  They looked and looked--in the marketplace, at the well--all of the places they thought Jesus might be.  They searched for 3 long days!  Where could he possibly be??  Finally, they tried the one place in the city they had not looked yet--the Temple.  There, in the Temple, they found Jesus, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.  Everyone listening was amazed at Jesus' understanding of God and the Scriptures.

Mary and Joseph were so happy to find their lost son, but they were also angry.  Mary said, "Child, why have you treated us like this?  Your father and I have been frantic looking for you!" 

But Jesus felt perfectly at home in the Temple.  He did not even know he was lost!  Jesus said, "Why were you searching for me?  Didn't you know that I must be in my father's house?"

His parents didn't understand what he meant.  Then Jesus went with them back to Nazareth and grew and grew--just like you're doing right now!

Let's Pray.  Dear God, Help us to know that we are at home in your house.  And help us to know and understand you and your Word.  Amen.

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