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Summary: Being a teenager is not easy. Parents and family are important. Lord help us to grow in your timing.

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“The Tween Age Jesus”

“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attend the festival as usual.” Luke 2:41-42 NLT

Intro: Being a teenager is not easy. The struggle starts way too early in the morning as you have to wake up every weekday for school. There is always someone you can’t wait to see and someone you can’t stand to see. Then there is that homework that is due or the quiz or test. School food is awful and the bathrooms disgusting.

Then there are all the rules: no standing in the hall, take those headphones off. Put your phone away. Also the other rules: These rules are unwritten but they determine your social status as either a freak, a weirdo, an outcast or a popular person that everyone wants to hang around with.

This hierarchy of public rank can be dramatically changed by almost anything from simply tripping over your shoestrings in the cafeteria and spilling food all over the place to giving the correct answer to a question that the teacher asks. Not to mention the whole lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender confusion. Can I get an e-cig? Does anyone know where the is party? Does anyone have some crank, some spice, a pipe, a pill of any kind? If you are a teenager and manage to avoid the illegal stuff there is enough prescription drugs being prescribed for depression, the cramps, birth control and steroids to mess anyone up. “Oh, my head hurts, I am too fat, I am too skinny, I am moody, I am angry, my hormones are raging, I am depressed.” Being a teenager, or a twelve, eleven, or ten year old is very complex and difficult.

I recall my own teenage years. I can still remember the first time I drove my car to town by myself. It is as clear a memory as any I have. I can also clearly remember some things about my teenage years I had rather forget.

Have you ever wondered what Jesus was like as a teenager? Well all of that is missing in the bible. The closest we have is the story of when Jesus was twelve years old. Today we would call that “tween age.” A “tweenager” is age 10-12 and is described as the age of being “in between” ages. No yet turned a teenager. But just old enough to begin going through adolescence and puberty.

The title of today’s sermon is “The Tween Age Jesus.”

“Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.” Luke 2:41

What does family mean to you?

As a young girl Alana Levinson struggled with the shame of her father’s substance abuse. She writes, “My father totaled the family car during a drinking binge, took all the money out of the bank accounts, showed up at my mother’s office begging for money to buy drugs, and tried to pick us up at school without permission.”

Over 8.3 million children, nearly 12 percent of all children in the United States, live with an addict. Unemployment and poverty create social barriers. Parents and children have a delicate task to explain and understand that the modern family may now have “two mommies” or “two daddies” with the legalization of gay marriages. Gender identity is often confusing among children and youth. The concept of traditional family is being redefined.

Several years ago I worked part-time for a children’s home transcribing therapist notes to hard copy. So I had some insight into both the thoughts of the clinician and the individual. It did not matter whether there was abuse, abandonment, neglect or a stable environment. One common theme was that no matter what the background of the parent child relationship there is always a longing for the child to know their parents and to have family connection and bond. Methodist or Baptist, Christian, or Atheist, clergy or laity, immersed or sprinkled, Republican or Democrat, male or female, straight or gay, a saint or a sinner all of these labels and divisions are set aside when it comes to the love between a child and their parent.

Family is important. For good or bad the strongest influence on a child’s life is their parent.

The word family occurs only one time in the New Testament Strong’s 3965 patria (feminine) for whole human race. Ephesians 3:14-15 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.” This family includes past, present and future people who believe in God as the source of creation. The church is the family of God. There is only one way to get into God’s family. It’s called being born again. It is something God does for you. It is what happens when you believe that God is who the bible says God is and you decide to turn your lifestyle into the Christian way of life. We turn to a God who loves and cares for us and a Jesus who is our Saviour. That happens suddenly when we realize we are experiencing Jesus in our life. But then it continues gradually as we actively gain knowledge and familiarity of what faith is. God does both for us. God give us new birth and God continues with us as we grow in our family relationship with Him. You become a child in the family of God. This means the church is not something you go to. The church is something you belong to.

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