Psalm 148, Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:41-52
What are your thoughts when reading Psalm 149? Do you ever think of all of Creation praising God, the Creator? If you haven’t seen Louie Giglio’s Stars and Whales (link below), I strongly recommend it. To think that it is not just us (human beings) that are called and made to praise God. It is important to understand that praise is a core piece of our very existence. If we are not praising, the foundation of our Christian life is in question. It might even be in jeopardy.
A firm foundation is important, especially in light of our passage in Colossians. Verses 12-14 are not easy. When we live out our lives with others, our compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience are often put to the test. As we bear with others’ weaknesses (and as they bear with ours), letting go of offenses can seem impossible, and even unfair or unrighteous. This is why the Peace of Christ (v 15) is essential to lay down upon the foundation of praise. With praise and peace, comes thankfulness. This is where we need to pause and remind ourselves that there are acts of thankfulness (which is a spiritual practice), and then there is a spirit of thankfulness, which is an outpouring of trusting God.
It is from all of this, that then Paul (the author of Colossians) gets to correction. He notes that it is through God’s word, psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that we correct the excesses of others, and others correct our excesses. It is important to look to Scripture as to what might be (emphasis on might) going on in the spiritual lives of others, rather than depending on our own understanding, which is likely missing crucial pieces of information. As we get to the story Luke provides us, it is important to see the different spiritual stories going on.
For Mary and Joseph, who knew the prophecies about their son, their return from the temple was part of their spiritual practice and were comfortable in their return home. Young Jesus, on the other hand, wasn’t done yet. Here was a young boy among elders, who themselves were astonished by Jesus’ insights. It is quite easy for us to be disappointed with Mary and Joseph not understanding. Just like Jesus, we can find ourselves saying, “of course, that’s where he is!” A new Christian or even an unbeliever(!) can provide spiritual insights that cause others to be shocked with a new insight and grow closer to God! Who are we to set aside spiritual insights provided by God through others?
When our foundation is firm, we trust God, and are humble toward one another, we are open to receiving spiritual insights from whomever God puts in our path.
1) What spiritual insight did you receive from the person you were least expecting?
2) Why do you think praise might be essential to spiritual insights?
KD) Why do you think it was huge that Jesus asked his mom and dad that question?