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Prayer, Plain and Simple

By Claudia Mair Burney
The second Sunday of Advent

“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished, and his mother said to him, ‘Why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ He said, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know I must be in my father’s house?'” Luke 2:46-48 NRSV


Last week we pondered the annunciation, birth, and infancy of Jesus. This week we’ll journey with him as he grows into an adult, and meditate on the confounding grace that “God with us” brings into our daily lives. We begin, once again, at the temple in Jerusalem. Twelve year-old-Jesus has gone missing. It would be one thing if he were gone three hours, but three days had passed. Who can blame his frantic parents for their reaction? It’s his answer to his mother that challenges us: why were you searching for me?
We look for Jesus through slick television preachers, retreats, seminars, and through the multiple millions of dollars worth of Christian living books sold. We scour the Internet for signs of him, but too many times we come up empty. Advent and Christmas season are evidence of the arrival of Christ, yet caught up in holiday madness, so often we fail to find him. What can we do to trust that the Lord as available as he said he would be?

My Father God,
Have I frantically looked for Jesus everywhere except for the main place He said I could find him? Jesus promised that he’d be in the midst when two or more of us gather in his name. He’s present in the Word, and can even be found when I look into the faces of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Still, like Jesus’ parents, I find myself steeped in anxiety, wondering if I am truly connected to Him. Enlighten my eyes to see Christ in your house, good Father, and may I come to know him there, in fresh, life-changing ways.
“Come, Lord Jesus.”

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