Jesus: The Early Years ~ No Place I’d Rather Be

Sunday’s Scripture ~ Luke 2:41-52

In our Scripture passage this week Jesus begins to live into his destiny!

(That sounds kind of corny…but I cannot think of another word that fits what I am seeking to capture.)

In this Scripture passage Jesus begins his transition from student to Rabbi.  This is all part of the plan of him being the Rabbi.  The Master.  The Lord.  The Savior.  The Son of God.  

This is who Jesus was created to be.  This is who Jesus was.  Jesus accepted this yoke.  Jesus drank from this cup.  Ultimately Jesus hung from this cross.  My intent is not to be dramatic, but to give voice to the magnitude of what may appear to be a quiet text…besides the little scuffle Jesus has with his folks about missing the departure time from downtown Jerusalem.

Mary and Joseph find him in the Synagogue.  In God’s House.  There is no place he’d rather be.  And Jesus admits it.  Openly.  Freely.  Unashamedly.

This Scripture is the springboard for Jesus into authenticity, which I think is an endangered species today.

  • We fear to be who we truly are for how we will be received or for how we have been received.
  • We worry about the ramifications it will have on our relationships with our families, our friends, our co-workers.
  • We question, “If I am me will I be passed over for that promotion?  Will I keep my job?  Will I keep my friends?  Will I keep my family?”
  • We weigh the possibility of living in-authentically because it might be an easier price to pay…then it’s only me who loses because no one else is the wiser…but if I am the one who loses then will I ever be the one who wins?

Authenticity is so endangered these days that we almost don’t recognize it when we see it…like me when I read and studied this passage from Luke this week.  Perhaps what happens more often is that we experience a bout of authenticity and someone attempts to hush it up.

Authenticity was once the norm; it has now become the aberration.

We need to get back to authenticity being the norm.  I believe we do so by being authentically ourselves and finding our safe places, our security, our families – brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers – our neighbors among those that encourage and foster our authenticity.

Mark 3 records, “Then [Jesus’] mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother’ (3:31-35).

“Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

True authenticity.  Let’s get move there.  Let’s thrive there.

A friend and congregant this week asked me if I had seen Jodie Foster’s Golden Globe speech.  It’s awesome and another testament and much needed installment of authenticity.

Prayer: “That We May Be True” from A Barclay Prayer Book

O Lord Jesus, help us to be true to our faith and true to you, when things are difficult.  When we have to stand alone; when loyalty to you makes us unpopular with our fellow men and women; when doing the right thing involves us in the dislike or in the laughter of others: help us still to be true.

Give us strength to do what we cannot do and to be what we cannot be; and help us to remember that by ourselves we can do nothing but that with you all things are possible.  Amen.

(William Barclay, A Barclay Prayer Book (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 246-247.)