What have I done with Jesus? Have I made Him a home in my heart or is He just a visitor?
Make the meeting space comfortable and homey. Use tablecloths, centerpieces and accents around the room to make it feel like a home.
If you are having a meal, serve it family style around the table. If you are having light refreshments, serve homemade cookies, cakes or loaf breads, along with coffee and tea, much as you would serve guests in your home.
Invite the women to bring something from their home that is special to them, possibly a picture, a lamp or an ornament. If they have moved frequently, what item is it that says, “this is now our home.”
Nothing says welcome like a beautiful wreath on your front door. Check Pinterest and decide what will work best for the interest and skill level of the women in the group. Eyelash yarn wreaths are fairly simple and can be personalized by adding a variety of items.
Give the women the tract “My Heart Christ’s Home,” This can be purchased here.
“I Would Be Thy Holy Temple” The Salvation Army Song Book, #591
“Have You Any Room for Jesus?” The Salvation Army Song Book, #420
“Home” by Chris Tomlin – YouTube Video
Scripture: Luke 2:41–52 (NIV)
The Boy Jesus at the Temple
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[a] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
In 2017 the movie Wonder took the theater world by storm. People could not get enough of the story of a boy and his family who overcame physical challenges. Wonder is a boy who, though different, persisted in finding his place in middle school.
It made me wonder what Jesus’ childhood would have been like. We know that from the start Jesus was no ordinary boy. An angel visited His mother, Mary, and told her that she was going to give birth to the Son of God. When Jesus was just an infant, His family fled for their lives to Egypt. We know they moved back to Nazareth after the death of Herod Archelaus. From that time until He was twelve the Bible is silent; we can only speculate what His childhood was like.
Did Jesus have chores to do? We know He had siblings. Did He get special privileges because He was the Son of God? I’m sure all of us with siblings can relate to one who seemed to have special privileges. Though I was my dad’s little princess with two brothers and two sisters, I still had chores and responsibilities that came with being one of the Miller Five.
We know Jesus grew up in the home of Joseph, a skilled carpenter. Did He take after His earthly father and learn the carpenter trade? Did He run through the streets of Nazareth with His brothers and friends? Did He deal with sibling rivalry? We just do not know. I like to assume that for the most part He was just a boy growing up—hanging upside down in trees, running with His friends, teasing His sisters and waiting for the day He would be “old enough” to fulfill His destiny.
What we do know is that when He was twelve, Jesus traveled with His parents and the rest of His village to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. His parents went every year, but this was probably the first time that Jesus went with them. Assuming that Jesus was in the group somewhere, His parents started back to Nazareth. When their Son did not show up that evening, they realized He was not among the group, and they went back to Jerusalem to look for Him. Can you imagine their feelings of concern as they searched? Three days later, they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the religious leaders, listening and questioning them. The Bible says, “All who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers” (Luke 2:47). Can you imagine the relief His parents felt when they found Him? Can you imagine the confusion? Can you imagine how you would feel if you had been looking for your son for three long days? “Son, why have You done this to us?” His mother asked. “Your father and I have been frantic searching for you everywhere” (Luke 2:48). Can you hear the panic in her voice? His answer was simply, “’But, why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in My Father’s house?’” Jesus felt at home in the Temple. He knew where He belonged. But He also understood that He had earthly parents who were responsible for Him until it was time for His ministry to begin. This passage ends with the words; “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (verse 52).
Jesus had a home with His earthly parents, but He was also at home in the Temple. Here is a question for each of us to ask ourselves. What have I done with Jesus? Have I made Him a home in my heart or is He just a visitor?