“After three days, Mary and Joseph found twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple, sitting among teachers, conversing and asking questions.  Those who heard him were amazed at his understanding.  His parents also were astonished, and Mary asked, ‘Son, why have you done this to us?  Your father and I have searched anxiously for you.’

“Jesus replied, ‘Why were you looking for me?  Don’t you know that I’m doing my Father’s business?’

“But they did not understand what he meant.  So he obeyed and returned to Nazareth with them, and Mary kept what he had done in her heart.  And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and others.

Luke 2:46-52  

Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This passage from the Gospel Writer called Luke is sometimes titled, “Jesus Amazes the Scholars” and “Jesus Grows in Wisdom and Favor.” 
  • When Jesus speaks of his “Father’s business,” he means his relationship with God.
  • Three (3) is considered a number of discernment, our ability to use wisdom and intuition to make the best choices and decisions.
  • Remember that wisdom includes experience and education, though not always intellect.

Contemplation Questions:

  • Recall a time when you felt true joy in a childhood activity.
    • Note what the activity was.
    • Note the feelings that accompanied it.
    • Note how long you were able to engage in that activity.  For example, was it a once-in-a-lifetime event or was it something you enjoyed throughout your childhood?
  • Recall a time as a teenager when you rebelled against something or someone, defying a parent, teacher, and/or other authority figure. 
    • Note the situation.
    • Note the feelings that accompanied it, especially about breaking rules or questioning norms.
    • How did your parent, teacher, and/or other authority figure respond?
      • Note as much as you can recall, especially any moments of mutuality and understanding, or anger and punishment.
  • Consider where you are on your life’s journey right now, no matter your calendar age.
    • What norms are you still questioning and/or which authorities are you still defying?
      • List them.  
    • How does this feel?
      • List the feelings.
    • What wisdom have you gained since your adolescence to support your efforts?
      • List all that you can.
  • Consider where you are on your life’s journey right now, no matter your calendar age.
    • How do you feel now about your childhood joy?
    • Do you still love it and enjoy it?
    • If it is buried in your past and you still love it, what steps would you like to take to unearth it and enjoy it again?
      • List at least three (3) steps, including at least one (1) other person who can encourage you and share the joy with you.
    • What wisdom have you gained since your childhood which can help you restore that joy?
      • List all that you can.
  • Think about a child and/or adolescent you know. 
    • What are at least three (3) steps you are willing to take to connect with them and encourage them in living their joy and growing in wisdom?

Take as much time as you need with this devotional to reflect on your childhood and adolescence.  During this process, rather than admonishing yourself or wallowing in regret, celebrate your wisdom and your ability to keep growing. 

© 2021 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

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