The Gospel of Luke 2 tells the story of the time the then 12-year-old Jesus journeyed with his parents, Mary and Joseph, to Jerusalem for the festival of Passover. When the festivities were over, the family headed back home. But Jesus had remained behind. His parents looked for three days before they found Jesus. He was in the temple, sitting among the teachers listening and asking questions.
Jesus said, "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
To frantic parents, his words must have been reassuring and a relief. And while they were surprised to find Jesus in an unexpected place, the temple, Jesus conveyed the message that he would most certainly be in his Father's house.
Jesus stayed at the temple at the end of a pilgrimage, a journey to a sacred place. A pilgrimage is often defined as an intentional journey, one that can last for some time and that can have some challenges and unexpected outcomes. Such was the case for Mary and Joseph.
Today, as we prepare for the New Year, may all of us be intentional about our journey into 2013. At Grays River United Methodist Church, we welcome you to join us as we embark on a year of worship and service dedicated to Christ. Wishing you joy, hope, and the love of Jesus Christ as we all journey home together.