Prayer: Help us to look at the baby in the manger and see one who not only comes to save us, Lord, but also to experience humanity. Amen.
Reading: Luke 2: 41-52 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: In these next twelve days, we are going to look at some Characters of Christmas, as we celebrate the church season of Christmas. For many, tomorrow they will start to undecorated. The radio stations that have been playing holiday tunes for six weeks now will stop and go back to normal programming. But in the church year, we have twelve days to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is my hope that in these days you will reflect on those who were witnesses to the first nativity.
Today, we look at the baby Jesus. A few weeks ago, I was getting very stressed out about all that had to be done for Christmas. The “to do” list seemed never-ending. I was ready to throw my hands up in the air. And, I did. I prayed.
And then I came to a realization. I was focused more on the “how” to celebrate than the “who” we were going to celebrate. I had to change my thinking and remember that it was more important to celebrate Jesus’ coming than the presents and the cards and other ways we celebrate.
In our passage today, we read that Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. I like to remember that as Jesus grew up, he grew physically, intellectually, spiritually, and socially. He was just like you and me. And taking time out of today, this most holiest of days, to remember that the baby that came to this world to save us also knew human pain, rejection, and other things I go through, makes this just an even better and merrier Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
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