“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Over a thousand years had passed since God had called His people out of Egypt. They had originally been brought there by Jacob’s son Joseph to escape the famine that was devastating the surrounding lands. After some four hundred years God then led them away from what had become a place of bondage and persecution, through the waters of the sea, into the desert and the place of commitment, and onwards to the Promised Land.
Now He instructed another Joseph to care for His son by taking him to Egypt. This was in order to protect Jesus from the murderous activities of Herod. Once the danger was past God would call Him out of Egypt again. The prophecy through Hosea which reflected the Exodus would reach its fulfilment in the person of the Son of God Himself. In due course Jesus also would pass through the waters of baptism, into the desert of temptation and commitment, and onwards towards the ‘Promised Land’ on the other side of the cross. He was opening the Way for us.
We too find ourselves in a ‘foreign land’ from which God calls us. With Him we embark upon a new journey as He leads us away from the bondages of a fallen world, through the waters of baptism, into a new place of commitment and onwards to the Promised Land of our eternal home with Him. Spiritually we may enter into His heart immediately although it often takes time and experience for us to fully believe and become secure there. In other ways the journey home lasts a life-time but the end is always secure as we travel on with Him.
Hear the call. Stay on the journey for the coming year.
Lord help me to stay close to You – and please bring me back when I stray. Amen.
(Artist – Bartolome Esteban Murillo – Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI, USA)