1st Sunday after Christmas
Scripture: St. Luke 2:41-52
Christmas, the season of gift giving, is over.
Now, gifts receive various treatments.
• Some are cherished.
• Others are exchanged.
• Some are tucked away and forgotten, only to be redeemed at another time.
Mary and Joseph received the gift of God’s Son Jesus. His birthday was with not a lot of fanfare. A new star was seen in the heavens and shepherds saw and heard angels speaking directly to them.
Some time later (upwards of 2 years), the 3 wise men found Jesus and His parents in Nazareth.
When Jesus reached 12 years of age, He was considered a man as is the Jewish tradition. He and His parents go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.
In returning home, they travel a day’s distance before they discover Jesus is not with the group.
Three days later they find Him in the temple. Mary says, “Son, why did You worry us, causing us to look for You for three days?”
Jesus responded, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
As Jesus grew, God His heavenly Father filled Him with wisdom and great love.
When His parents found Him in the temple, the priest and elders marveled at His wisdom.
At this time, Mary and Joseph still aren’t ready for the boy Jesus to begin acting in these unpredictable, Spirit-led ways.
Now this is not the first time a young boy was called to serve the Lord.
Recall how Hannah prayed to the Lord that if she had a son she would dedicate her son Samuel to God’s service. When he was quite young, she took him to the high priest Eli and left him there.
Some time later Samuel was wakened up in the middle of the night, hearing a voice.
He thought it was Eli and went to check on him. Eli told him it was not him and told him to go back to bed.
That happened twice more before Eli told him that voice is the voice of God calling him.
Eli said, “If it happens again, say, ‘Here I am, Lord. What do you want?’ and obey His wishes.”
I too have heard the voice of God calling me. That’s why I stand before you as your pastor today.
God still speaks to all people: young, middle-age, and senior citizens. Often we do not hear Him, and thus we do not respond to Him.
Not too long ago, I was asked by Chloe if I would baptize her. I said I would check with her family. After checking, I was told that was her wish and not the family’s. Chloe is 9 years old.
I don’t know what caused her to want to be baptized, yet I believe the Spirit of God was involved in her decision. If this is a beginning of an invitation for a Spirit-filled life and service unto the Lord, praise God that He still calls little ones for special service in His name!
I would like you to do something for me. Sit quietly in your comfortable chair without the TV or radio on. Sit in the stillness of that hour. Focus on the Lord and His actions within your life.
It may surprise you that the still, soft voice of God is searching and inviting you for a special ministry.
For as long as there is air coming in our bodies, as long as we are breathing, there is an opportunity for the Spirit of God to call you and use you for His great ministry. As we start this new year, may we focus more of our time and energies on the love of the Lord that is open to each and every one of us.
Let us pray!