10.18.2009

Getting to Nazareth

Quote:

My friends, all I'm trying to say is that if we are to go forward today, we've got to go back and rediscover some mighty precious values that we've left behind. (Yes) That's the only way that we would be able to make of our world a better world, and to make of this world what God wants it to be and the real purpose and meaning of it. The only way we can do it is to go back (Yes) and rediscover some mighty precious values that we've left behind.

Our situation in the world today reminds me of a very popular situation that took place in the life of Jesus. It was read in the Scripture for the morning, found over in the second chapter of Luke's gospel. The story is very familiar, very popular; we all know it. You remember when Jesus was about twelve years old, (Well) there was the custom of the feast. Jesus' parents took him up to Jerusalem. That was an annual occasion, the feast of the Passover, and they went up to Jerusalem and they took Jesus along with them. And they were there a few days, and then after being there they decided to go back home, to Nazareth. (Lord help him) And they started out, and I guess as it was in the tradition in those days, the father probably traveled in front, and then the mother and the children behind. You see, they didn't have the modern conveniences that we have today. They didn't have automobiles and subways and buses. They walked, and traveled on donkeys and camels and what have you. So they traveled very slow, but it was usually the tradition for the father to lead the way. (Yeah)

And they left Jerusalem going on back to Nazareth, and I imagine they walked a little while and they didn't look back to see if everybody was there. But then the Scripture says, they went about a day's journey and they stopped, I imagine to check up, to see if everything was all right, and they discovered that something mighty precious was missing. They discovered that Jesus wasn't with them. (Yes) Jesus wasn't in the midst. (Come on) And so they paused there and looked and they didn't see him around. And they went on and started looking among the kinsfolk. And they went on back to Jerusalem and found him there, in the temple with the doctors of the law. (Yeah, That's right)

Now, the real thing that is to be seen here is this: that the parents of Jesus realized that they had left, and that they had lost a mighty precious value. They had sense enough to know that before they could go forward to Nazareth, they had to go backward to Jerusalem to rediscover this value. (That's right) They knew that. They knew that they couldn't go home to Nazareth until they went back to Jerusalem. (Come on)

End Quote. --Martin Luther King, Jr., 1954, "Rediscovering Lost Values," a trial sermon delivered in the city of Detroit, MI

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