Second Sunday After Christmas Day Morning Prayer (3 January 2021) Luke 2:49
Updated: Jan 9, 2021
Last month, we celebrated the first advent of Jesus. Today is the second Sunday after Christmas. If we followed the Book of Common Prayer it is Epiphany Sunday. We are familiar with the history of Jesus’ birth. Caesar Augustus passed a decree that the world should be taxed. Everyone went to their own city to be taxed. Joseph also went with Mary to Bethlehem. The king of Judah was born when they were in Bethlehem. Shepherds came to visit baby Jesus. Jesus was circumcised on the eight day according to the law given through Moses. He was named ‘Jesus’ as the angel of the LORD instructed when He was in Mary’s womb. On Epiphany, Jesus was physically revealed to the wise men from the east. These wise men were the first gentiles who visited Jesus and worshiped Him with their gifts. Although Jesus’s birth was not announced by the angel to the gentiles, the wise men followed the star and came looking for Jesus.
Jesus’s parents took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord and offer sacrifice. They went to the temple of God to offer sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord. When they were in the temple of God, Simeon, a devout and just man, blessed Jesus. Prophetess Anna gave thanks and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. From that time, Jesus and His parents went to the temple of God every year to celebrate the feast of the Passover.
When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast as they did every year. When the festival was over, everybody left but Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. Jesus’s parents realised He was missing when they looked for him after a day’s journey. After three days, they found Jesus in the temple in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard Him were astonished at his understanding and answers. Mary asked him, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing”. Jesus replied, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” What is Jesus’s Father’s business?
Overcoming temptation: Jesus was incarnate as the second Adam to overcome temptations. He fasted and prayed in the wilderness to overcome the temptations. We know He overcame temptations with the Word of God. In the mount of Olives, He told His disciples, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
Salvation: Almighty Father’s Business was to bring Salvation to the whole world. After He overcame temptation, Jesus began to preach about the kingdom of God and called people to repentance. He healed many, performed many miracles and cast away devils. The purpose of sending Jesus to this world was prophesised in Isaiah 9:2. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled during Jesus’s ministry in this world when people received salvation.
We who have celebrated the birth of Jesus, how are we about our Father’s business? When Jesus lived in this world, He did not forget the purpose of His birth. He was aware of the Father Almighty’s vision. He saved people’s souls from eternal death. Jesus completed His Father’s business in this world. Jesus was focused on His work because He knew He had very limited time to do His ministries in this world.
Like Jesus, we are also called to overcome temptation and receive salvation to inherit eternal life. We too have a very short and limited lifetime when we have to overcome temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” We will not be tempted beyond our ability. We can overcome temptations like Jesus with His strength and receive salvation.
Titus 2:11–14 say “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
When we have received salvation, like Jesus we have the responsibility to take the salvation to those who have not received it so they too can inherit eternal life. Jesus has completed His part. We must do our part during our lives. Let us self-examine ourselves so that we fulfil our Father’s Business in this world. Amen.