The first Sunday after Christmas; the third day of Christmas.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:18–20, 26; Psalm 148:7–14; Colossians 3:12–17; Luke 2:41–52.
The passage from 1 Samuel celebrates Hannah’s gift of her son, delivered after apparent infertility, to God, to serve as a priest in the temple. Jewish readers would know that Samuel became one of the greatest prophets and spiritual leaders in Israel.
In the letter to the Colossians, Christians are encouraged to clothe themselves in spiritual fabric, especially love, and to live in harmony with one another.
The gospel passage from Luke is well known for recording the disappearance of Jesus when taken to the temple in Jerusalem at the age of twelve; what is often not noted is the openness with which he was received and then Jesus’ submission and obedience to his parents upon their return to Nazareth.
Together, these passages remind us of the gift of God to humanity in Jesus (a son delivered to serve), Jesus’ willingness to obey and serve within the confines of normal human existence, and the concomitant challenge for those of us who inherit the responsibilities of the body of Christ in the world to live lives worthy of our calling.
One way or another, we all grow up to a point where we have to make a choice about our spiritual selves – the way in which we satisfy the spiritual needs that exist within all of us, and the way in which we connect with the force that created this universe and breathed life into our world, and with life, intellect, imagination and love into humankind.
We have these gifts of intellect, imagination and love: how do we use them? Are we willing to wear these gifts as clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience? Are we willing to grow in love in the way that Christ shows us how to fit this wardrobe?