When one asks others what they are doing for Christmas, often they respond that they are having family come home, or that they are going to be with family or friends.
Mary, Joseph and Jesus also went someplace for the most important festival of their faith, the temple, to participate in the celebration. It was a long walk for them to get to Jerusalem. They held it as so significant for them, that they made that effort every year.
Jesus took it a step further. He stayed in Jerusalem in order to hang out in the temple. While there he got involved in the debates and discussions in that place central to the life of the Jewish nation. He wanted to be there and involved. Jesus felt at home in the temple symbolizing the presence of God.
Does our faith also motivate us to regular participation in the life of our place of worship? Like Jesus, do we feel at home there and glad to be present? Do we look forward to conversation about the important matters of our faith? Do we seek a deepening of our connections with God and others around us in love?
O Holy God, increase our zeal and devotion to you that we shall come into your courts with gladness. Amen. — JW-H