While Jesus is widely known for what He did during His public ministry, He did not begin preaching and traveling until the age of 30. He was born into a poor family and lived simply for most of His life, learning, growing, and obeying His parents. Although He was God, He was also fully human (except without sin). However, He would have still experienced many of the same emotions, struggles, and joys that we do. It’s easy to picture Jesus as a baby or as a grown man, yet we shouldn’t forget that He was also a toddler, a young child, a teenager, and a young adult before He became the full-grown man we learn about through Scripture. Jesus knows what it is like to live day-to-day life, and because of that, we can find meaning in our ordinary, daily tasks.
Take a sheet of paper and think back to a day this week. Start with the time you woke up and write down everything you did or experienced that day. Be very specific. Don’t leave out the small details such as brushing your teeth or eating meals. Then discuss the questions below with someone.
- What is the best part about being in middle school?
- What are the biggest daily challenges of being in middle school?
- What do you think it was like for Jesus to be a teen?
- What does it mean when we say that Jesus can identify with you because He did some of the same daily tasks that you do?
- What do you imagine are situations Jesus experienced that are like your daily life? What would have been different?
- What day-to-day challenges do you need Jesus to give more meaning to in your life?
Take a minute to think about the people Jesus saw and interacted with when He was growing up in Nazareth and Capernaum. Think about what it would have been like to walk outside and greet Him as your neighbor or schoolmate. Think about what it would have been like to hang out with Him playing games, and talking about your lives. Now take some time to look back on your paper and reflect on your day.
Put a star by the moments where you can recognize Jesus’ presence and/or the moments you wish you had better recognize His presence.
There are definitely moments when it is more obvious that Jesus is present, but there are many moments when it is difficult to see that He is near you and easy to take for granted the unlimited access we have to Him. Whatever category you fall into, or if your day is a combination of all of the above, it is OK. Take a moment to tell Jesus exactly what you are thinking about your day.
If you are struggling to recognize Him, doubting that He is present, or unsure about why you should care, tell Him so at this time. If you are amazed by how He showed up for you, excited about what He is doing in your life, or grateful for a particular moment, tell Him so at this time.
End this prayer by asking Jesus to help you be more aware that He is with you every moment of your day and let Him help you.