In a way it was a festive time for those witnessing the birth of Christ. The shepherds saw the glory of the Lord through the angels. The wise men came bearing gifts. A special star lit up the sky.
Suddenly, this fabulous story of the birth of our Lord takes a turn for the worse. Herod seeks to find where the Christ-child was born and put an end to his life. Fear of a rival on the throne? Most likely. It becomes a nightmare for the holy family as they move quickly into Egypt and leave their humble surroundings.
Here's what we must recognize: the entire situation is orchestrated by God. Matthew the Gospel writer tells us, "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.'" (Matthew 2:13) Joseph obeys and after being in Egypt and learning that Herod has been killed, an angel again comes to Joseph directing him and the family to go to the land of Israel. For third time, he is directed in a dream to go to the district of Galilee. Do you see how everything is under the guidance and protecting hand of God?
In preparation for this Sunday, you can read the Gospel in Matthew 2:13-23. May God's blessing be upon your study and preparation for worship.
Discipleship Questions for Reflection
Do you believe that God might give you a message through a dream today?
Can you name a time when you believe it is possible a "guardian angel" came into your life?