…Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Luke 2:41-52
The following are excerpts from one of Dr. Kings earliest recorded sermons given on February 28, 1954 at 2nd Street Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan, titled “Rediscovering Lost Values.” **
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)
And I think, my friends, that that is the thing that has happened in America. That we have unconsciously left God behind. Now, we haven’t consciously done it; we have unconsciously done it. You see, the text, you remember the text said that Jesus’ parents went a whole day’s journey not knowing that he wasn’t with them. They didn’t consciously leave him behind. (Well) It was unconscious; went a whole day and didn’t even know it. It wasn’t a conscious process. You see, we didn’t grow up and say, “Now, goodbye God, we’re going to leave you now.” The materialism in America has been an unconscious thing. Since the rise of the Industrial Revolution in England, and then the invention of all of our gadgets and contrivances and all of the things and modern conveniences—we unconsciously left God behind. We didn’t mean to do it.
Go out and be assured that that God is going to last forever. (Yes) Storms might come and go…..
If we are to go forward, (Oh yes) we must go back and rediscover these precious values: (Well) that all reality hinges on moral foundations (Lord have mercy) and that all reality has spiritual control. (Yes) God bless you. (Amen, Amen, Amen)
**The full sermon can be read at : The Martin Luther King Jr, Research and Education Institute of Stanford University