Friday, April 1, 2022
Jesus of Nazareth
Sara Fletcher Harding
“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.”
While it may not look like it, a lot happens in these two verses. It is here that the Baby Jesus grows up in his hometown of Nazareth. This chapter in the Gospel of Luke contains the only childhood narrative about Jesus in the New Testament. After his dedication in the Temple in Jerusalem, the family returns to Nazareth where the child grows in strength and wisdom, and with the favor of God upon him. Twelve years pass before Jesus and his family make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover. The details about that span of time go unaccounted for in the Bible and instead we are left to use our imagination. What was Jesus like as a child? What did he do? Who were his friends? Did he ever get into trouble?
While I can remember being in 6th grade and being consumed with roller skating, cats, and softball, I also remember my confirmation classes. They were a time of studying and learning about God and reflecting on the church and what it meant to live in Christian community connected through centuries, people, and traditions. I also recall the importance of serving others and reading the Bible. At one point, I created a sacred space in my closet where I could think about these things and be in awe of God.
The season of Lent also provides us with these opportunities, whether it is reading one of the gospels, keeping a prayer journal, or intentionally finding ways to serve others. May your Lenten practice fill you with God’s strength and wisdom.
Prayer: O’ God of Strength, Wisdom, and Favor, I want to know you more. Be with me on this Lenten Journey. May your strength be my strength, may I seek your wisdom so that I might align my will with your will. I ask that you extend to me your grace and that I might grow in you. Amen.