The environment for growth can be difficult. Young Samuel's witness takes place in the corrupt environment of Eli's priesthood in the Temple at Shiloh. His two sons are notoriously unethical and self-indulgent, apparently without correction from old Eli. How does Samuel grow to become one of the outstanding leaders in Jewish history while in the toxic environment of the Temple at Shiloh?
Luke has the only story of Jesus in his childhood, although at age 12, he is approaching the age of manhood. His delinquent parents have headed home for Nazareth from the Passover celebration in Jerusalem, and discover that their assumptions that Jesus was somewhere among the traveling pilgrims were all wrong. The kid was nowhere to be found.
They make the day-long hike back to Jerusalem, only to find him in the midst of discussion among the elders in the Jerusalem Temple. The scene has plenty of delightfully awkward moments. However, what was this conversation about that Jesus and the elders were having? We can only guess, but we learn something about our old selves that serves as reminder for what needs to guide us in the new year.
Check it all out in the sermon video below and note the downloads available below the video panel.