At Christmas time, it is difficult to think of the child Jesus as anything but “perfect” in every way—complete understanding of the structure of the universe, the laws of nature and the social customs of his day. The scripture gives us a more normal picture of Jesus’ growing years. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52) Jesus, like all normal human beings “had some growing up to do.” In the preceding verse, it says that Jesus was “obedient to his parents.” We don’t often think of Jesus as needing correction as far as behavior or habits are concerned. This should give us something to think about in the raising of our own children. If the young child Jesus needed correcting, patience and understanding, how much more our own offspring!
As we think about the baby Jesus at this time of year, we need to also remember the patience, understanding and love required of all parents all through the year, every year!
Wilbur Rees is currently Pastor Emeritus at Shalom United Church of Christ in Richland.
Wilbur calls himself a “survivor.” Having weathered the first two and a half decades of a tumultuous life, he went on to complete his education and serve as pastor in four states. He has written numerous article for religious publications and, in addition to this book, is the author of “Three Dollars Worth of God”. He is now retired and lives with his wife in Washington State.