Matthew 2 – Luke 2:39-52
So did you catch it? Where was Jesus when the Magi came to visit? We are told in Matthew chapter 2 that when the Magi reached the “house” … It would appear that He was no longer in the manager as we depict in our manger scenes at Christmas…Doesn’t mean I won’t still put up my manger scene. The manger depicts for me the whole story if you will of Jesus birth and that first year or two of his life. I am mindful of the birth and the challenges that faced Joseph and Mary. The trip that the Magi made to bring gifts to God’s son – Jesus, and the moving of the family to Egypt for safety which in turn would be fulfilling prophecy and the list goes on. Yep, the manger as we celebrate it today will always be a part of my Christmas.
The story of Jesus not being with Mary and Joseph always brings me a smile. First we see a 12-year old boy who sort of forgets to tell his parents that he has gone to the temple courts. Caravan leaves, parents assume he is with relatives; it is a full day before they realize that Jesus is not with the Caravan. They go back to Jerusalem and it takes them approximately another full day to find him. They find him in the temple courts. His response to their questions is “Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” They were puzzled by his response and did not understand. I find it truly amazing how much the human mind can file away and not be remembered.
Every time I read this I wonder how it is that Mary could forget that her child was a “wee bit” different than other children. The fact that Mary could, and the fact that we are able to, put major events and trauma out of the forefront of our minds and go about our day-to-day business is a testament to God. The fact that Mary and Joseph did not consciously remember or are daily aware of the gem they are raising allowed for Jesus to have a relatively normal “human” childhood. And it allowed for Mary and Joseph to have a fairly normal marriage and family life.
I never cease to be amazed when God gives us special insight into His world. I have read this passage many times and today is the first time that I have come to see that the ability to put events that are “way out of the ordinary” out of our daily existence. The fact that those memories are no longer in the forefront of our minds is what allows us to move forward. Until today I never saw that as a gift and yet it is an incredible gift. I always saw it as traumatic, mostly because the memories I put out of my forefront were traumatic, painful memories. But I now realize that in many ways it is a gift to us. When the time is right God moves those memories back to the forefront and then helps us to deal with them. In this case it will be a few more years, about 18, before Mary will once again be brought back to the importance of the birth of the child she delivered; and God will be right there with her to comfort and guide her through what is to come as a result.
Until next time – be encouraged