And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
The Gospel reading today strikes a new tone for the Christmas season by dramatically leading us away from the joy of the manager and gifts of the magi, to the dangers of life on Earth. Despite all of this, God carefully orchestrates Jesus’ earliest days. God’s steadfast protection and Joseph’s faithful obedience combine to ensure his safety in a world of peril. Even as potential disaster threatens Jesus, ancient prophecies come to life and guarantee Jesus’ mission. Isn’t that true of our own lives? God can take things that are bad and put them in the crucible of His wisdom and love. He works all things together for good, and He gives us the glorious, wonderful promise that He will do so. But there’s more. In order for him to do the good, Joseph had to listen. What is God trying to tell you today? Will you be like Joseph and listen and obey?
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your Son, Jesus and for the plan you have had for each of us since ancient times. Help us to listen to your words and to be obedient to your desires.
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The Litten Family