Dec. 23, 2021
A daily prayer from the New England Conference
Members of the New England Conference Extended Cabinet are sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week.
You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.
The scripture Luke 2:41-52 always reminds me of when I was a trip leader at Camp Mechuwana many, many years ago. My favorite place to take groups was Baxter State Park and Mt. Katahdin.
One year I had in our group Danny and Brad who were very, very fast hikers. On the day we climbed Katahdin, buddy systems were formed, Strict rendezvous locations were explained, rules we spelled out … then spelled out again. Five hours later, the group reached the summit of this amazing magical place. Before heading down, I reminded everyone of the rules and the locations to wait for the entire group if two buddies were to get ahead of the group. (I looked directly at Dan and Brad as I spoke.)
An hour later at the first stop – all checked. All good. Second stop—all checked in, all good. Third stop – no Dan, no Brad. We move on. Fourth stop—again, no Dan, no Brad. My anxiety that had begun after the third stop was now overflowing. Fifth stop. No Dan, no Brad, and now my anxiety was through the roof. The last stop was the ranger station where all hikers had to sign in and out at the bottom of mountain. I ran onto the porch ready to report two missing hikers.
There on the porch were Dan and Brad, laughing and talking with the ranger. “These two guys really know a lot about hiking,” he said to me.
“We just got talking and walking so fast we forgot to stop, and then before we knew it, we were here at the ranger station. You knew we would be here, right?” explained Danny. At that moment I did not know if I wanted to scream at them or hug them.
Putting aside the theological importance of Jesus’s intimate understanding of the scripture and his ability to teach even the elders, at the age of 12, because of my experience with Dan and Brad, I have always related to Jesus’ parents and the anxiety they felt as they searched for their son for three days.
Today, Lord, I pray for those who are separated from loved ones, for whatever reason. May we have peace in our hearts and in our minds.
PS Dan and Brad were never more than 20 feet from me the rest of the week.
By Norman Thombs, Director, Camp Mechuwana