The message of Christmas is a message of fulfillment. The time was right, and it came to be. Some factors at the time were more favorable than they ever had been or would be again for centuries. God’s will was, and is, for our well-being. And it was all by God’s plan. Let us never forget that, even though those are some clever catch-phrases sometimes used to disguise the ugly motivations of some people.
This is the beginning of the fulfillment, and more will be. In fact, it continues to this day.
The Gospel reading for today is familiar to most of us, but how many people have really examined it for what it is trying to tell? At twelve, Jesus is probably considered a man by virtue of having completed his Bar Mitzvah and so this is his first visit to the Temple as an adult. But what is such a young man doing, occupying so many of the learned doctors in heavy discussion for three days?
The answer to this, including some speculation on my part, shows some insight into what might be coming for him.
The reading in place of the Epistle is explicit in its prophecy. And the Gospel reading goes well with it, and goes further with the point we found in last week’s readings. In stupidly simple terms, nobody is going to stand in God’s way.
Since Joseph had no more trust in Herod’s son Archelaus than in Herod, he made use of the same gap in jurisdictions that would figure much later in Jesus’ trial. Joseph went to Galilee and to Nazareth, fulfilling yet another prophecy.