Several years ago we were travelling back as a family from South Africa. We had checked in for our flight and were hanging out in Johannesburg Airport. I had a large wallet that contained all of our passports, credit cards and cash that I always held on to and sat down for coffee while Annette and the kids went shopping. I finished my coffee and left, not realising I’d left my black wallet sitting on the chair in public view. For over twenty minutes I walked, browsed and met up with the family. Then, like lightening, I realised I had left it on the seat! I raced back to find it still sitting there twenty five minutes later with everything still in it. What a relief! What a great feeling after the panic of loss.
Have you ever lost something or someone valuable?
Luke 2:41-47 NLT
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first,44 because they assumed he was among the other travellers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.
45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
It’s one thing to lose your passports, but who loses their kid for three days?! And not just any kid! This is the son of God! Joseph and Mary lost Christmas!
Mothers, Fathers; can you imagine the panic they felt? We all know that feeling of terror when you turn around in public only to find your child that was walking close by is nowhere to be seen! It’s not like Mary and Joseph; Jesus parents, didn’t care. So how on earth did it happen?
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.
I’m so glad you’re reading this today… without this you too might go through another Christmas unaware of Jesus’ whereabouts. Can I encourage you this Christmas not to leave Jesus behind or let him go missing.
Jesus’ parents were doing ‘what they usually do’ – what they were accustomed to doing. They were busy fulfilling their annual traditions. Ironically it was their traditions that made them unaware of Jesus. Not only was tradition the problem, they also assumed he was in the company of others. Don’t fall into the same trap. So many people think “Jesus… that’s ok for you”, or “if that’s what you need” “good on you – go right ahead”. But Jesus is not simply for others, he’s for you; Christmas is God’s personal message to you. The birth of Jesus is a sign: God’s plan to restore you and give you your life’s purpose.
Believing Jesus was with others; his parents travelled at least one and a half days along their journey without him!! Wow! If Mary and Joseph can do it so can we! Let’s not live out life’s journey without Him. Your life will be so much richer if you journey with Jesus. In fact, do what Jesus’ parents did once they realised their son was missing – they desperately searched for him.
I love the image of the star of Bethlehem appearing to the Wise Men. They didn’t fully understand, they didn’t fully know where to go, but they were wise–because despite some doubts they were intelligent enough to search until they got answers.
This Christmas, if in the middle of eating, celebrating and giving gifts you notice Jesus is missing, do what Jeremiah 29:13 (NLT) says:
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
I would like to personally invite you to one of our Christmas services shown below. Who knows… you might find your missing Jesus!
Christmas Eve – 10.00am
1 Railway Station Square, Wollongong
Christmas Eve – 6.00pm Carols
601 Princess Highway, Yallah
Lighthouse Station and The Woolshed – 9.00am