In What Way?

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him. Luke 2:39-40

With the arrival of this new calendar year, for many people resolutions abound with goals to evaluate and improve who we are, what we do, and how we want to better ourselves. It makes me ponder a question I’ve asked recently in Wednesday night Bible study.

How do you think Mary and Joseph felt now having their newborn baby Jesus to care for?

In most families, children have a name picked out well before they’re born. In the culture to which Jesus was born, babies weren’t typically named until 8 days after their birth during a ceremony at the family home. Mary and Joseph were a special case. They were told what their baby’s would be well before his arrival. The name given, Jesus, was actually a pretty popular name in Jewish families. Do you think, if Jesus knew the significance of his name and the story of how he got that name, it might have shaped him differently from other children sharing that name?

Besides his presentation in the temple, we don’t know all that much about Jesus’ life after his birth. All we’re told is Jesus grew up, aged, gained strength, and wisdom, what we would normally expect from a maturing human being. One of the mysteries of our faith is that Jesus is fully God and fully human, of how much Jesus was like us in what he had to learn.

With a fresh year ahead, we can’t say for certain what will fill the days of the calendar, but we do know it is another year of responsibility. Responsibility to learn, to grow, to mature, to become strong, filled with wisdom, and hope that the favor of God might rest upon us.

In what way do you desire to grow?

In what way do you want to become strong?

For what do you need wisdom?

— Trent Sessoms