I was obsessed with Home Alone when I was little. Watching it is probably one of my most vivid memories of Christmas growing up.
Funny thing is, back then I identified with Kevin – now, watching it again after all these years, I of course feel for the mom.
Can you imagine the trauma of making such a mistake? Forgetting your child behind as you fly out of the country? In a time when there were no cellphones?? I’d never forgive myself. Probably spoil him rotten so much afterwards that he’d be the 40-year-old living in my basement.
Guilt is pretty much part of the package in being a mom. There always seems to be something we could’ve done better if we only were better. Thing is, we’re all imperfect people, much like our kid.
In the Bible, when we read Luke’s version of how Christmas came about (and some really interesting stories after that), we realize the most flawless mother in the world probably wasn’t imune to it either.
Imagine that. Mary gets the angel visit saying God decided she’s about to be a single mother (which, if it would get people talking today, imagine back then) – that is, until Joseph finally got an angel visit himself. Instead of kicking and screaming, she graciously sings a song of praise. How’s that for perfect?
Time passes, she has the baby, and then another 12 years go by. Anyone has had an AMAZING experience with God, only to forget about it once life gets in the way? The story from Luke 2:41-51 hints that maybe parenting a holy child wasn’t necessarily a walk in the park. Actually what happens resembles a lot the Home Alone movie!
Mary and Joseph are traveling with a large group of family and friends – and since they have a well-liked 12-year-old boy, they’re expecting him to be socializing. They’re expecting one of the people they trusted to be watching him.
So this goes on for an entire day (can’t you see it parallel to the McAllister family flying to Paris??), until they realize, wait a minute – where’s Jesus? (cue to Mrs. McAllister screaming “Kevin!”on the plane.)
They go back and look for him for THREE MORE DAYS until finally finding him with the teachers of the temple.
As a mom, I imagine how desperate Mary must’ve been at this point. I mean, God gives her, oh, just the Savior of the whole world, and then she loses him?? What kind of a mom am I? , she might have thought. Maybe God chose the wrong person.
It makes me chuckle how, when she finds him, Mary scolds her son (as we all would have if our kid disappeared on us, no matter how wonderful they are). While she’s there busy scolding GOD, Jesus very calmly reminds her that she should’ve known He would’ve been in his Father’s house.
Another thing that intrigues me is that Jesus’ parents couldn’t understand what he meant right away. I wonder if maybe they’d already gotten used to seeing Him as more their boy than really God’s son. I’m sure deep down they hadn’t forgotten what He was, but in the heat of the moment, maybe the grandiosity of it slipped their minds.
How often does this happens to us too? In life’s everyday’s inconveniences or mistakes we make, we forget we’ve actually been called to do what we’re doing. That if you’re a mom, God has appointed that child to you just as He did Jesus to Mary – and no, He does not make any mistakes.
This Christmas, my prayer for myself and all the moms I know is that we won’t live in fear as if it all depends on us being perfect. That the fact that we’re human does not take away any of the glory – or, as the world likes to call it, magic :) – of what God’s given us. And just as Mary did once she found her boy, that we’ll treasure all these things in our hearts.