Vicar’s Reflection: First Sunday of Christmas, 30th December 2018 Lost Children
Few experiences cause as much anguish as losing a child. Parents endure so much to bring a child into the world. When they arrive there is the pure delight of their presence along with sleepless nights, the crying the utter dependence which is both a joy and deeply felt responsibility. Most parents want the very best for their children and are willing to sacrifice all for their futures. When a child and their future is taken away the loss is heart-rending. Names come to mind, such as Madeleine McCann, and the sixty-one children who have died as a result of non-accidental injuries in New Zealand in the last 10 years, and others who have lost children through illness or accident. This is the agony and heart-break of losing a child. Thoughts such as this must have gone through the minds of Mary and Joseph as they returned to Jerusalem having realised Jesus their twelve-year old boy was no longer amongst their travelling party. Jesus was born into a brutal world. There were good grounds for Mary and Joseph to be anxious. All turned out well thankfully. This event was an early indication that this boy Jesus had a special destiny and calling that he needed to explore. All children eventually want to explore the world beyond the compass of their parents’ lives. The results of Jesus’ exploration led to both blessing and suffering; a life lived fully for God and the salvation of the world.