William Holman Hunt - The finding of the Saviour in the temple
1Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28
1 John 3:1-2, 21-24
What should it feel like to live a good family life?
The gospel provides us with an answer that is probably quite surprising. For it’s likely that we may think of life in a good family as being one that’s free from tension. As being more or less plain sailing all the way. And yet, tension is precisely what we find in the gospel. Here both Jesus and his earthly parents struggle to negotiate the tension between the obligations of the immediate family and those of the family of God. As the son of Mary and Joseph, Jesus really should have informed them of his intention to remain in the Temple.
Just as it was only proper–at least at this stage of his life–that he should return with them to Nazareth and live under their authority. And yet, as Son of his Father in Heaven, it was also proper that he should be busy with his Father’s affairs. What is this if not tension? But a healthy tension. A necessary tension. For we are told that, living in this way, Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and men. It was precisely their willingness to live this tension courageously that made Jesus, Mary and Joseph a Holy Family.
By James Davies