Luke 2 records the story when Mary and Joseph lost Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem.
I find it interesting that the place where they lost Jesus was at the Temple.
Mary and Joseph aren’t the only ones who’ve lost Jesus at church.
When the church focuses more on the color of the carpet or the drapery, whether people should be bringing in their Starbucks into the sanctuary, what kind of music is appropriate for worship, or anything else that isn’t the mission of Jesus Christ to go and make new disciples and make faithful disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), people will continue to lose Jesus at church.
It’s not that things like carpet, sanctuary decorum, music, etc., are not important. It’s just that these things are not the main thing. When we get overly caught up in discussions over secondary things, when we fail to demonstrate love, grace, hospitality, mutuality, submission, cooperation while disagreeing, that’s when people start losing faith in Jesus and his church.
But here’s the good news. Not only are people losing Jesus in church, but many are finding Jesus in church.
Mary and Joseph lost Jesus at the Temple, but that is also where they find Jesus.
When the church functions and behaves as the church of Jesus Christ – where truth and right teaching is accompanied by grace and love, where people are received for who they are so that everyone might become who God has created them to be – that’s where people find Jesus.
That’s our hope. That’s our purpose.
May we work towards becoming the church where people are re-discovering Jesus.