Daily Devotion for January 3, 2011
Tenth Day of Christmas
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for God's Power in Our Lives
Eternal spirit, giver of life, bearer of our pain and wellspring of all love, source of all that is and all that shall be, father and mother of us all, loving God, in whom is heaven: May the hallowing of your name echo through the universe. May the way of your justice be followed by the people of the world. May your heavenly will be done by all beings in your creation. May your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope, and may earth see your kingdom.
With the bread we need for today, feed us; in the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us; in times of temptation and test, strengthen us; from trials too great to endure, spare us; from the grip of all that is evil, free us. For your reign is the glory of the power that is love, now and forever.
Prayer for PeaceMay the forgiving spirit of Him to whom we dedicate this season prevail again on earth.
May hunger disappear and terrorists cease their senseless acts.
May people live in freedom, worshiping as they see fit, loving others.
May the sanctity of the home be ever preserved.
May peace, everlasting peace, reign supreme.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
My Father's Business
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.
Notes on the Scripture
This famous story of Jesus' youth is the only real information we have about him between the tumultuous events of his youth and his maturity. It is, first, a single snapshot of his adolescence. It is a mixture of normal life and a remarkable event, which will come to characterize Christ's final three years.
First off, we find out he is very human. His parents seem to be a normal part of Hebrew society, what we would call "solid citizens" but not community leaders. They make an annual trip to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover with a group of friends and family. This indicates that they had at least a little bit of disposable income, to afford the time off and the cost of the trip; that they were devout in their worship; and that they had become socially integrated in Nazareth.
Like so many teenagers, Jesus runs off to "do his own thing" without telling his parents. When they discover him missing, they become very anxious, and when they eventually find him, they scold him for not letting them know his whereabouts. Sound familiar?
Against this backdrop of normal middle-class life, we have the remarkable spiritual revelation, when Jesus makes the famous statement, "I must be about my Father's business." This parallels the remarkable events of his birth, although in this case, the remarkable events are Jesus' words, rather than events that happen to him or around him. We are once again reminded that this is the Son of God; he has not come to learn, but to teach, for his knowledge does not come just from what he has read and heard, but from what has been revealed to him by God the Father.