Saturday, January 21, 2017
Saturday Sermonette - The Angel's Gift
Now when they [the wise men} had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” Matthew 2:13-15, NKJV.
Joseph jerked upright in his bed, sleep gone. "Mary! Mary, get up! We have to leave."
Mary's eyes blinked. "Wha...?
"I said get up. We have to get out of here. Now."
"Now?" She asked, sleepy eyes staring longingly at the blankets puddled around her waist.
"Yes. An angel appeared in my dream and said King Herod wants to kill our Boy. He's sending armed men to destroy Jesus."
Mary's eyes flew wide, and she froze in mid-yawn and morning stretch. "He wouldn't kill a little child!"
"He would. Come on. We have to gather up food and blankets and leave." Joseph tugged at her arm. "You get the food and I'll gather up the blankets and clothes and the wise men's gifts. Let Jesus sleep until we're ready."
He glanced at the pallet where Jesus lay still sleeping. That child could sleep through the loudest thunderstorm. Joseph shook his head, a grin sneaking up on him despite his anxious hurrying.
Dawn had begun to streak the sky by the time they left Bethlehem, two donkeys carrying their goods. Mary shifted a still-sleepy Jesus from one hip to the other. When he was awake, he was going to have to walk. He was just too heavy to carry the whole distance. "Where are we going, Joseph?" she asked.
"Egypt. The angel said we'd be safe there until Herod dies." Joseph pulled the donkeys aside to avoid a particularly deep puddle.
"Egypt? But we don't know anyone there. How will we live?"
"For a time, we'll have to use the gold the wise men brought, but people need carpenters, and I should find work easily enough. I don't want to use up what was a gift to Jesus."
"Maybe this was part of the reason the wise men brought it. They might not have known we would need it so soon, but Jehovah Jirah did." Mary threw Joseph a small smile.
He smiled back. "Your faith inspires me, wife."
It wasn't too many months before he had another dream. The same angel again appeared, this time with reassuring news. Joseph woke at daybreak smiling.
"Mary, are you awake?"
She stirred, opening one eye. "No," she grumbled.
He chuckled. "I had another dream of an angel."
"Don't tell me Herod has tracked us here and we have to run again."
"No, not this time. He--the angel--said Herod is dead. We can go home."
"Home? As in Bethlehem?"
"No. Back to our friends and family. Home, as in Nazareth."