Another good reading day after a restful weekend!
As I was talking with a reader about Levi, the tax collector, I asked if she knew who the taxes were for. She did not, so I told her they were for Caesar. I thought she might remember from her lesson about Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem to pay taxes.
“See-zer?” she asked, looking puzzled. “See-zer?” And she moved her first two fingers up and down in a cutting motion.
“Oh, no, not scissors!” I answered, and reminded her that Caesar was the Emperor of the Roman Empire. We both got a good laugh out of it when I wrote the two words for her.
Another reader studied the story of twelve-year-old Jesus left behind in Jerusalem. She told of the time when she and her parents left church and the whole family rode the bus home. She had over 12 siblings, so it was quite a process. Then when they got home they realized that the youngest, four-year-old Anna, was not with the group! Immediately, in great anguish, her mother knelt by the bed and started praying.
Soon a family from their church appeared with Anna. The bright youngster had told them her address and they had taken her home in a taxi. Prayers answered, and a great family story to tell.
I think that Jesus was left behind in a similar manner. All those younger siblings–James and Joseph and Simon and Judas, not to mention the sisters*–surely were occupying Mary and Joseph. They probably assumed Jesus was responsible enough to come along on his own.
But his sense of responsibility was different from their expectations. His mother and father were looking for him; his Father was watching him with the wise men in the Temple.
How many times do we make assumptions–even judgments–without knowing the whole story? I think this is a good reminder to me. Perhaps others are truly taking care of the Father’s business and I don’t realize it.