49He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2: 49)
This passage will come in a few weeks. I won’t go into it. But the question of “why were you searching for me?” begs a lot of additional questions. After all, in this season of Advent, for whom are we waiting? For whom are we searching? Why were you searching for me? Later, the adult Jesus invites us to come and see. It’s not necessarily a fulfillment of that or whom for which we are searching. It is an invitation to come and see what is there, come and see what is offered, come and see what you were not expecting.
For generations, God’s people waited for the Messiah. They waited for a Savior. What is that? What is that which saves you? Who is that above all others who gives you what you need? And they imagined a king, a monarch, one who was the leader of the world. They imagined one who would lead them to victory. They imagined one who would land them on top of the heap of the world. And then they got this baby in a manger. What is that about? This wasn’t what we planned.
Are we really any different? What is that that you imagine will save you? Who is that who above all others gives you what you need? Who do you imagine? For whom are you waiting? Maybe the whole point is that we, like those generations so long ago, are so sure of who the Messiah is that we miss the Messiah, we miss the Presence of God that shows up in places that we did not think it belonged. The question, “why were you searching for me?” remains. Is it to save you? Is it to fix your life? Is it to affirm that the life you’ve created is the way it should be? Is it to land you on top of the heap of the world? Or are you truly searching for that which brings Truth and Grace? Are we searching for One who will enter our life? Or are we searching for a Life that will lead us to God?
The baby in a manger wasn’t what anyone was expecting. Who would’ve imagined that God would enter this world through a feed trough? Maybe if we would open ourselves to the possibility, or even the probability, that God comes in ways we do not plan, in ways that we do not expect, and even through those that we do not think are “of God”, then we will be able to open ourselves to whatever way God comes. So, why are you searching for me? Don’t you know I’m here with you now, in every step, in every way? Don’t you know where I am? I am here. Just open yourselves to the notion that I’m not what you planned, that I don’t fit into to this world, and that I’m calling you to change your life and change your ways so that you will know who I am.
Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find. (Ann Patchett)
Grace and Peace,