After they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, ‘Herod will be looking for the child m order to kill him. So get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave.’
Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died. This was done to make what the Lord had said through the prophet come true, ‘I called my Son out of Egypt.’ (verses 13-15)
Read Matthew 2:13-23
The intervention of God’s directing hand is a recurring theme throughout the Christmas story. By speaking to Joseph in dreams God ensured that Joseph would take Mary to be his wife, that the child would be born in Bethlehem, and that the baby Jesus would remain safe from the clutches of Herod and would finally live in Nazareth. All of this happened in order that the predictions made by the prophets hundreds of years before would come true.
We are used to hearing that God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, but these passages also show God’s hand in choosing Joseph to be his father. One notable characteristic of Joseph is that when God spoke, Joseph listened.
As you make plans for the year ahead, be tuned into the voice of God. Listen to him speak to you as you read his word and hear it proclaimed in worship. Spend time with God in prayer, not only to let your requests be known but also to listen as he speaks to you.
For the God who made his will known to Joseph also wants to make his will known to you.
Heavenly Father, open my ears, so that I may hear you speaking to me. When you speak, let me listen, and, like Joseph, obey. Amen.
by Anne Maczkowiack, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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