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.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 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.” When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, 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 wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: “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.” When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “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.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over 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. 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 Nazorean.” (Matthew 2:13-23, NRSV)
We think of Christmas as this time of joy and hope. Some of us know sorrow of missing loved ones, but do we actually know all of the story?
When we think of Christmas we think about the manger and the baby. We think of shepherds and animals. We think of the wise men and the gifts. Mary and Joseph.
Do you think about all of the innocent lives of those killed by Herod?
The Wise men came to visit and stopped at the palace because that is where a king should be. So to visit the new born king they went to where the king would be. But Herod didn’t know what they were talking about and told them to come back and tell him when they found the king so he could go and worship him too. But Herod wanted him dead and when the wise men didn’t come back, Herod had all of the baby boys 2 years old and younger killed so the king could not come and take his throne.
But Jesus was safe, because Joseph listened to God and followed where he led him.
Do we know the story, or do we think we know the story?
Do we know where God is leading us, or do we think we know?
Are you ready to follow God when he tells you to go somewhere you had not planned to go?