Friday, December 31

Author: Kent Smith

Luke 2:41-52

Reflection: v. 48, ‘I have been searching for you in great anxiety’

My mother retells a story of how I wandered off in a shopping mall as a kid. Retrospectively, it’s a humorous little anecdote about the obviousness of a child preoccupied with something shiny or colorful. In the moment though, it was a scary experience! Neither she nor I had any ill intention, but some grief, guilt, and stress arose out of that interaction. Relationships have that power, sometimes whether we want them to or not. Relationships with our family can be intense since we aren’t easily able to put the brakes on them like a friend or community member. We can mean well, but a moment of miscommunication can cause real harm. The temptation is to throw judgments around like an umpire calling balls and strikes. ‘Oh, they’re wrong’ or ‘I’m right.’ The real power doesn’t come from the referee calling a penalty but from mediation and reconciliation. Communicating the feelings and effects our actions have on others in order to learn how we can repair relationships is power. Those are the times and places that God shows up. We can grow and strengthen ourselves and the love we have for each other through real reconciliation. If Mary and Jesus even had to have a hard talk about boundaries, then we better get ready, because it will certainly happen with us.

Prayer God, bring us to a place of reconciliation with our brothers and sisters, and give us grace to see beyond ourselves.

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