christmas bells

1st Sunday of Christmas
Flight to Egypt

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Flight into Egypt

Picture courtesy of childrenschurch.files.wordpress.com

Another year is quickly drawing to a close. The holiday season is just about over. The gifts have been opened, the food has been devoured. Now what are we faced with?

Well right now while many of us may be longing for a break and dealing with the post-holiday-blahs, we are likely keeping that to ourselves given the terrible news on our TV’s and counting our blessings at not being in Indonesia. All I can say is last time Krakatoa erupted, it was a major historic event that took the lives of over 36,000 people and changed weather patterns reversing global warming for at least 5 years. Which we can hope is the silver lining of the current eruption. Please pray for the people of Indonesia affected by the eruption and its accompanying Tsunamis. Many are now refugees, left with nothing.

A short time after the first Christmas the small family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus also found themselves refugees. We recently covered a subject not usually covered in Churches at Christmas, after all who wants to hear a sermon on killing babies? For goodness sake! It’s too harsh! Too gory! Dead babies and Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as refugees running for their lives! Not part of our pretty holiday picture is it? “The slaughter of the innocent.” “The flight to Egypt.” Just as the eruption is not the sort of event we like happening so close to Christmas.

Note only Matthew relates the story of the massacre connecting Jesus with Moses and the Exodus. Seeing the death of the innocent baby boys in Bethlehem as a reflection of Pharoah’s killing of the Hebrew baby boys in Egypt.

So God didn’t allow the holy family to live a peaceful and quiet life in Bethlehem for very long. Things couldn’t be peaceful and quiet, because the baby they were raising was the very Son of God, the Saviour of the world. Satan would try to get rid of the Saviour using whatever means possible. So Mary and Joseph would have to be placed into God’s “witness protection program” for a little while.

An angel told Joseph in a dream to get up, take the child and his mother and escape into Egypt. He listened and they escaped Herod, who or what is the Herod in your life and are you listening to God with what to do about it? Because we have the same enemy as Jesus, who can give us victory against him. At least Mary had recovered from the birth before they had to flee. Note the angel said “child” not “baby” they were in Bethlehem possibly nearly two years before the wise men showed up, not the way we usually picture them in the Christmas cards or manger scenes.