Happy New Year!
We have journeyed toward restoration this Advent and Christmas season, so all is well, right. I mean once we decide to follow the ways of Jesus and the Holy Spirit begins the work of transformation, then all that is left is living the good life… right?
Our gospel text this paints a slightly different picture…
Matthew 2:13-23 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
13 Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”
16 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”
19 When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 20 “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” 21 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. 23 There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus are on the run. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, was it? Jesus was already brought into this world in an unorthodox way, why is there more drama, more danger, more anxiety, more fear?
Maybe you can relate to when life doesn’t go the way you hope.
Maybe you can relate to living in fear.
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus weren’t the only ones afraid in our scripture… King Herod seems to be operating out of fear as well. It is an interesting contrast in how Joseph and Herod operate in the midst of fear.
Let’s talk about it on Sunday.
~ Pastor Dustin