First Sunday after Christmas
It Seems Like Just Yesterday!
It seems like just yesterday we were singing “Away in a Manger” and celebrating the birth of baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Now baby Jesus is twelve years old and displaying some of the normal pre-teen/teen independence-seeking. Where did the time go? How could he have grown up so quickly?
Of course, we have only the records of the Gospel writers, who were not interested in providing a biography of Jesus during his formative years. Their purpose was to share the teachings of Jesus about God’s love and God’s kingdom, and tell of the miracles he performed, healing people from disease and infirmity. They told us about Jesus’ sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection from the dead, and his promise of forgiveness and eternal life for those who believed in him. The Gospel writers were trying to help people understand that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah.
The story of Jesus remaining in the temple in Jerusalem while Mary and Joseph assumed he was among the group traveling back to Nazareth (Luke 2:41–52) is the only story of Jesus’ youth recorded in the Scriptures. It is a story of Jesus’ claiming his identity. It is a story of the danger of making assumptions. Reading this story the day after Christmas is a reminder of how quickly our lives pass by. “It seems like just yesterday . . .” This phrase becomes more common the older we get as we reflect on the passing of time.
I have heard parents of young children—parents who are understandably tired and overwhelmed—say, “I can’t wait for my children to grow up.” Be careful that you don’t wish away your life or theirs. Enjoy each day. Cherish this gift from God. Before long you will be saying, “It seems like just yesterday. Where did the time go?”
Doug Kleintop, retired pastor