Where Do We Find the Christ?
By Janné Grover of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. …He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” —Luke 2:47, 49 NRSV
So much of today’s story from Luke’s Gospel tugs at a parent’s heartstrings. One can only imagine how Mary and Joseph must have felt when they realized their son was not with them. They had journeyed three days from the temple and Passover celebration in Jerusalem. Panic, fear, helplessness, and worry must have consumed them. In the end, they found Jesus, safe with teachers, who listened to him with amazement, and in the comfort of what he recognized as his Father’s house.
I have found myself in various facets of this story. I have been a lost child—unbothered by the circumstance, unaware of my parents’ worry. I also have experienced panic as a parent for the brief moments when I feared I had lost my child.
As I ponder this story on the first Sunday after Christmas, questions flood my mind:
Where do I find the Christ? With what sense of urgency do I search for Jesus? Am I amazed by the depth of God’s grace and generosity revealed in the gift of Jesus, or do I find myself complacent in the familiarity of the story? Have my Advent preparations and Christmas celebrations left me amazed by a deeper awareness of Christ’s presence and call in my life?
Immediately I begin to work out answers, but there also is much to learn from living in the questions. This story reminds me of the potential for forming my discipleship as I search for and find awareness of the Christ in others.
In our journey from the joy and wonder of Christmas morning, may we search for the Christ with awareness. May we find the Christ comfortably present in our most ordinary and our most extraordinary moments of life. And may we find the Christ in community as we allow ourselves to be fully present and attentive to one another.
Prayer for Peace
Creator of love, we ponder the life of Christ. In him we find you. In him we find our community. In him our soul is at peace.
Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
Read and reflect on Psalm 42:1–2 NRSV. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our call is to respond to people and their needs. The call to journey inward can restore us in times of physical or spiritual depletion. Imagine you can feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container). Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with another person, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty, dry, and empty.
Listen prayerfully again to the psalm, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God…for the living God.” As you feel restored, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey. Remember this exercise as you drink water throughout the day.
Today, God, I will look to my right and to my left, and there I will find Christ.