2. The Escape From Herod
NOW when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled. And when he had gathered the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. They said, In Bethlehem of Judea.
Then Herod privily called the wise men, and inquired of them what time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Search diligently for the child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I may come and worship him also.
The wise men departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it stood over where the child was. They rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
¶And when they saw the child with Mary his mother, they worshipped him: and they opened their treasures, and presented unto him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, the wise men departed into their own country another way.
When the wise men were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, take the child and his mother, and flee into Egypt and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the child to destroy him.
Joseph arose, took the child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of Herod.
¶When Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel.
But Joseph heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod: he was afraid to go thither: he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: and he came and dwelt in Nazareth.
Meditation 1 of 1:
Like all godly parents, Joseph and Mary raised the child Jesus in the fear and wisdom of the Lord. Joseph was given a unique task as the guardian and protector of Mary and of Jesus. What can we learn from the example and witness of Joseph? Joseph is a man of God, a man of unquestioning obedience and willing service. He is a man of prayer and a man of God’s word. Through faith he recognized the hand of God in the mystery of the Incarnation— the Son of God taking flesh as the son of Mary. Joseph is a man of action, diligent in the care of his family and ready to do the Lord’s bidding. Joseph fearlessly set aside his own plans when God called him to “take to the road” and to leave his familiar surroundings— his home, friends and relatives, and the security of his livelihood in order to pursue a hidden mission God entrusted to him as the guardian of the newborn King. God has a plan for each of us. With the plan God gives grace and the assurance of his guiding hand and care. Do you trust Him for his plan for your life? Are you willing to sacrifice your own plans for God’s plan? Are you willing to give God unquestioning service and to pursue whatever mission he gives you? “Lord, make me a faithful servant and guardian of your truth and your word. Help me to obey you willingly, like Joseph, with unquestioning trust and with joyful hope.”