Short Meds in Getting Ready in Covid-Advent: 31. Egypt?
Mt 2:13 “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.”
Sneaky or clever films don’t end up as you think they are going to end. In fact life frequently doesn’t end up in the direction you think it will go. Some of us make great provision for our children’s education and give them every opportunity in life, but you can never be sure how they will end up, because life is all about people with free will and, as Solomon showed, even the wise can get it seriously wrong. This is not to be pessimistic but just realistic and it is into that realism we are to guide our lives as much as we are able.
We have just seen Joseph and Mary provided for by the Wise Men but shortly afterwards Joseph has another of his convincing dreams, to leave Bethlehem and flee to Egypt because Herod will soon be sending soldiers to kill his son. He has learned that such dreams from God are to be followed and so the little family goes south. Very often in dramatic novels in the back part it goes very dark and it looks like the hero or heroine’s life is under threat, and then comes the wonder, they find a way through.
Joseph has no way of ‘finding a way through’, He has no power, he has no influence, he cannot persuade Herod to spare his son. All he can do is rely on the guidance God is giving him and trust that it will eventually work out all right. Centuries before Hosea had written, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” (Hos 11:1) It was no doubt originally a reference to the Exodus, but Matthew, ever looking for prophetic input to lighten what was happening in the present, picked up on this (Mt 2:15), suggesting that, yes, this had been part of the divine plan known about long before by God; this was no accident.
Why does the Messiah end up in Egypt? Is that the end? Does Israel miss out on his life? I ask these simple almost naïve questions to highlight the point – this is simply the next stage of this saga and we now know how it continued and how they returned to Nazareth and the rest, as they say, is history. Wherever we are in the 2020 Pandemic saga, and currently there is light at the end of the tunnel as far as vaccine is concerned, it has not ended. There is more to come but wherever it goes, we go with God. He never abandoned His Son in Egypt; He will not abandon us in this alien health and declining economic environment we have been in this year. Wherever the year ahead leads us, be at peace in Him. Kneel and commit the coming year to Him, committing your life to following Him wherever He leads. He has more on His heart for you and me. Amen