Lost and Found Luke 2:41-52
Panic that causes suffocating anxiety is the loss of a child. Children are seldom “lost” though – parents are rarely so careless as to “misplace” a child. It’s more like malevolent magic – one
second a beloved child is holding your hand and in the split second of blinking one’s eyes they have disappeared –‘poof’. Thus, understanding the obvious terror of Mary and Joseph is not difficult for any adult who has had responsibility for a younger person. There is a deeper loss that the Gospel is preparing us for. Parents’
expectation often clash with the dreams of their children – Jesus
argues with his parents: "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them.
Since the call to follow Jesus overrides every other call, a normal family
tension is often exacerbated in the sphere of discipleship. Jesus says it very bluntly: "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” No would-be disciple can avoid the pain of this, for it goes to the centre of what God in Christ has come to do for us: to raise us to a level where absolute love holds absolute sway.