December 24th

December 24: Matthew 2:19-23

Matthew 2:13-23  (NIV)

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.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

“A voice is heard in Ramah,

   weeping and great mourning,

Rachel weeping for her children

   and refusing to be comforted,

   because they are no more.”

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Reflection

Jesus spent his first year of childhood as a refugee.

“By the end of 2017, 68.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. That was an increase of 2.9 million people over the previous year, and the world’s forcibly displaced population remained at a record high. This includes:

  • 25.4 million refugees in the world—the highest ever seen;

  • 40 million internally displaced people; and

  • 3.1 million asylum-seekers.”
    (https://www.unrefugees.org/refugee-facts/statistics/)

Jesus knows firsthand what a refugee feels. How can you care and have greater empathy for the plight of the refugee, like Jesus does?


Prayer

God, the One who was forced to run for his life as a baby, help us to bring your peace to those who run for their lives.



Joe Graves