Today there are options for the scriptures and you know that last week we already did the scripture for the slaughter of the innocents, so this week I have chosen Luke 2:41-52.  This is the story of how Jesus goes with his parents to the festival in Jerusalem and somehow gets left behind.  His parents have to come back a days journey and then search for 3 days to find him, finally, in the temple teaching and amazing those who listen.

I think of how often we search for God only to find God is never as far away as we think.  Jesus' parents search every corner where they think he might be as a child, but do not look immediately in the temple.  They weren't expecting a child to find the temple a place of amusement.  So they search for 3 days.  How desperate they must have felt by then.  A million ideas must be floating through their minds as to "what happened to Jesus" and here he is safe. 

We search ourselves, our whole lives for something which gives us meaning.  Whether it is God, science, another faith we try to ground ourselves in a holy encounter, sometimes to the point of forcing it on our lives, and we either never find what we want or we find it in the most unexpected place.  There have been many stories written about this whether it is the man who waits all day in his closed shop for Christ, only to find that the least likely guests he has had all day are Jesus.  Or those stories which take us on a quest where the hero searches for something that will save people only they get lost and sidetracked before finding what is needed. 

Searching for the holy in our lives sometimes only takes opening our eyes to the things which are most simple and present around us.  I have heard stories of people's searches that have led them to helping with the homeless or feeding hungry people and this is where they have encountered God.  Right in front of them in an unexpected and unknown face.  All we have to do is stop searching so hard and calm our minds and hearts, and maybe get involved with an outreach, to experience God.  After all don't we believe that God has been born with us this Christmas season?