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Summary: Looking for Jesus. Jesus is the temple as a child.

Forget Waldo, Where’s Jesus?

Luke 2:41-51

McMinnville FUMC 1/20~/2008

How many of you are familiar with the book series, Where’s Waldo?

The first Waldo book was released back in 1987. It was the result of more than two-years of detailed work by illustrator Martin Handford. Since then there have been six Waldo books the most recent one released in 2007 titled: Where’s Waldo? The Wonder Book

Waldo is a distinctively dressed man, usually wearing in a red and white striped shirt, blue pants, as he sets off on "a world-wide hike". Waldo travels to everyday places – such as the beach, the ski slops and the zoo. Somewhere amid the crowded scene is Waldo and readers are asked to scour the detailed illustrations to locate the lost traveler. Each scene is accompanied by a postcard to the reader from Waldo, who introduces the scene and comments on his travels.

Whenever I read this passage from Luke 2, I can just see Mary and Joseph going to the members of the caravan and asking, “Where’s Jesus?” When you heard this story couldn’t you just see Mary and Joseph re-entering Jerusalem and walking up and down the streets, like it was a page out of a Waldo book calling out, “Where’s Jesus?”

Do you every find yourself calling out those same words: Where’s Jesus? It was like he was here just a minute ago and then puff he seems to disappear.

Can you recall a time when you were close to God? So close, I mean, you could swear you heard the rustle of angels’ wings? Maybe there was this, this awesome feeling within, perhaps a tear at the corner of your eye?

Isaac Butterworth writes about such an occasion. He was worshiping in a church and the congregation was singing Isaac Watts’ hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” He said the organ swelled. The voices of the people swelled with it. The moment was intense. And he sensed that he was in the presence of God.

Here’s how he described it:

“I almost couldn’t sing. I couldn’t contain the joy. I wept. I wanted the moment to last forever. It didn’t.

Within thirty minutes, I was back into my routine. Out in the heavy foot traffic of hurried figures, racing along the Drag to some appointment they were, no doubt, already late for. Cars buzzing by, honking obtrusively, trucks rattling along in careless disregard for my fast-fading ecstasy. No one I saw the rest of the day had felt what I felt. I had almost touched “the hem of the garment,” if you know what I mean. I had felt God close, and now he seemed galaxies away.”

Have you been there?

Can you imagine the fear that must have been on Mary and Joseph heart?

They look for him not one day, or two days, they look for him for three days!

This is perhaps the most terrifying thing in the world.

Children…. Do not try this at home….

Sometimes we feel this way when it comes to our relationship with Jesus…..

--St. John of the Cross: The Dark night of the Soul Those dark nights of the soul go on and on…. It is a terrifying situation to be looking for Jesus and can’t seem to find him.

How does it happen?

Those of us who are parents or who work with children realize that trying to keep up with them can sometimes be frustrating.

Now lets fess up, how many of us have been left somewhere by mistake? Or How many of us as parents have actually forgotten a child?

I must confess I did once. Nathaniel…..

When something like this happens what is the reason for it occurring?

We become preoccupied. We allow ourselves to become distracted. Perhaps this is what happened to Mary and Joseph.

--Joseph….back to the shop, orders to be filled

--Mary….laundry to be done from the trip

We often feel as if we have misplaced Jesus because we have allowed other things to distract us.

--This happened to Peter one day. He became distracted.

--What are some of the things that we allow to distract us?

Notice that Mary and Joseph spent there time looking for Jesus. They were doing the right things but they could not find him. They were looking for him in all the wrong places.

I came across a poem written by Karl Eckhoff that I have sort of rewritten. It goes like this.

Blow the trump and ring the bell;

Dress it up and make it sell;

Fill it with the rich and well;

And count the heads.

We’re doing well!

But where’s the faith? Where’s Jesus?

Read the creed and get it right;

Hold it fast with all your might;

Close the door and bolt it tight;

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