Pause

Going Back2School this year will be different, even a little scary. So make space for God today.

Just like packing your backpack for school, carve out some time each day to be filled with God’s presence.

Breathe in… breathe out… Be still, knowing that you are God’s beloved.

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Listen

The child grew up and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When he was 12 years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to their custom. After the festival was over, they were returning home, but the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t know it. Supposing that he was among their band of travelers, they journeyed on for a full day while looking for him among their family and friends. When they didn’t find Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

Luke 2:40-45

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Think

This story about Jesus has always fascinated me. Remembering my childhood, I can see how Jesus chose to stay behind – what was in front of him was the most important thing at that moment.

As a parent, however, I know all too well the fear Mary and Joseph experienced. When my oldest daughter was a toddler, she went shopping with her mother and decided to play hide-and-seek between racks of clothing… only she didn’t tell her mom that they were playing this game. My wife searched frantically until our daughter stood up and said “Here I am!” After embracing our daughter, my wife’s emotions quickly changed from joy to feeling the full-body stress of losing someone so loved. It’s a story that sticks with us.

I imagine this story of Jesus stuck with Mary and Joseph, who went through the full range of emotions during the three days Jesus was lost. Jesus was where he was supposed to be… but perhaps he could have shared this information with his parents!

Hold onto this knowledge today – no matter where you are, you are never lost, for just as Mary and Joseph did for Jesus, so does God always seek you.

Josh Speight

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Pray

God, thank you for the reminder that I am never truly lost, for you always search for me. During these first few weeks of school, when I may feel lost and unsure of myself, help me to remember that you see me and you love me. Help me to love others as you love me. Amen.

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Go

Go now in the power of the Spirit of God, blessed to be God’s Church in the world.

Joshua Speight

Josh Speight engages ministers and congregations through his role as Manager of Leadership Development with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Atlanta. Josh is married to Becky Caswell-Speight who is Minister of Families, Faith Formation and Connection at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. Together, they have the joy of being the parents of Ainsley (15) and Evelyn (9).

Fallow Ground

Carter Harrell

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