When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. (Luke 2:45)
Jesus said that He would never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In other words, He has promised to always be with us. So how could it be possible to lose the presence of the Ever-Present One? Let’s take a look.
As disciples of Christ, we must understand the difference between the word union and communion as it relates to our relationship with Him. Our union with Jesus is the fountainhead from which all the blessings of God flow. Whatever is true of Jesus is also true of us because of our union with Him. His death is our death. His resurrection is our resurrection. The love of the Father to the Son also flows to all those who are in union with Christ, making us sons, as Paul assures us, “In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:26). This union is as unwavering as it is undisturbed. Nothing can separate us from the love God has for us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But our communion with Christ is another thing altogether. Inasmuch as Jesus is always with us, there are times when His presence may seem as far as the east is from the west. We can lose the sense of His presence, just as Mary and Joseph lost His physical presence when they were returning home from Jerusalem with the caravan of family and friends.
Jesus vanishes from our vision as we begin to focus on anything other than Him. We begin to neglect our alone time with Jesus. We begin to neglect our community time with Jesus. Nothing major, mind you, just a little neglect here and a little neglect there. But what starts as an infection winds up a disease, cutting us off from any real sense of our communion with Christ. To be sure, our union has not changed in any way, but our communion has become transient, and transient communion will never satisfy the soul.
So how do we keep from losing Jesus and the communion we so desperately need? We don’t assume, as Joseph and Mary did, that Jesus is in our company and that our communion with Him is as secure as our union with Him. We must continue to seek Jesus in all things. We cannot get caught up in the cultural caravan around us, or we will cut ourselves off from our communion with Christ. We must continue looking for Jesus, listening to Jesus, and leaning on Jesus. At this level of living, our communion with Jesus will be every bit as constant as our union with Him. Draw near to the Lord . . . and He will draw near to you.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!