Here's this week's Bible study blog post for i.ucc:
In this week’s Bible reading from Luke 2:41-52, Mary said to Jesus, "Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety."
Mary was afraid that her child was missing, hurt, or worse.
Most parents have experienced “Where is my child?!” times, perhaps where the young one has wandered away from the clothing store to find a bathroom, rode their training-wheeled bicycle to the school to ‘help daddy pick up my sister,” or decided to take a nap in a suitcase in the closet. (Real experiences from the Moore parents!) The sense of fear is disturbing and in many ways, paralyzing.
That same anxiety can be felt when there are no identifiable problems or situations at hand. Anxiety can strike any person, any age, any time.
Mary and Joseph were relieved (if not a little angry) when they found the boy Jesus. But for too many, relief seems impossible and the calls to “snap out of it! There’s nothing wrong!” not only don’t work, they often (perhaps always!) make things worse.
I’ve found relief from anxiety in slow, pursed lip exhales and contemplative prayer. It seems to reset whatever chemical processes are going on in my brain to give me feelings of anxiety. For many, medication, psychological help, and counseling can bring needed relief.
May we all learn to be a loving, calming presence to any an all that experience anxiety. May we all treat every child of God as precious.