Day 20: Faith is Not Academic

135.365 Academics
I am preparing for the celebration of Christmas this Advent through the Journey to Bethlehem, a free online Advent guide from Scripture Union USA. It is a 26 day journey ending on Christmas Day.

Day 20 of the Journey to Bethlehem is titled The Father’s House.
"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them. (Luke 2:49-50)
Come on, why didn't Jesus' parents understand? They had been raising him for 12 years now, they had received the news about who he was from angles of the Lord, then the shepherds, and the Magi.

As I think about what they did and didn't know at this point I am reminded of the impact the cross, death, and resurrection has on my understanding. None of which they knew about at this point.

Seeing the lack of understanding by Joseph and Mary in this account helps me to realize that understanding rarely comes all at once. I have a tendency to look at faith too much like an academic exercise where I sit down, study the Bible during a certain period of time, and then take a test, earn some kind of religions certification, and then I am done.

The more I read about Jesus' life the less academic I find faith and the more challenged I feel. The more I see an intangible interconnection between the words of God, a personal relationship, and living life. Understanding builds as all three intersect over and over again.

Thank you Jesus for the understanding you bring to my life day by day, step by step.

P.S. Here is a link to the previous days of my Journey to Bethlehem.

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