The Holy Family’s Disappearing Act

Rome - Flight to Egypt fresco in Basilica di Sant Agostino
ROME, ITALY – MARCH 27, 2015: The Flight to Egypt fresco in Basilica di Sant Agostino (Augustine) by Pietro Gagliardi form 19. cent.

Joseph had a dream telling him to rise up and take the child and His mother to Egypt. Herod’s guards went house-to-house searching for them and killing all the male children under the age of two. The Holy Family slipped away into the desert darkness, making their way to Egypt.

The people of Nazareth were probably like people of today. If you hear of a disaster near where someone you know lives, your mind starts to wonder about their welfare. Were they involved? Did they make it?

It would be several years before Joseph had another dream telling him it was safe to return. Just as suddenly, though not as urgently, they were able to head home.  Jaws must have dropped and tears flowed as they came home to Nazareth with a toddler in tow.  I’m sure someone said, “I never stopped believing that you were still alive.”

In many ways the Flight to Egypt anticipated Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. The innocents’ death prefigured His own, the escape from death–His resurrection, and leaving for another country–His ascension into heaven.  His return to Nazareth prefigured His coming again!

Jesus spoke in His parables about a ruler going to a far country to return when his servants did not expect it.  Those who figured that their master was delayed in coming, abused the other servants. These were cast out.  Those who never stopped believing that He would return, lived their lives accordingly. These were greatly rewarded.

In  Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Scrooge’s big lesson was to live in the spirit of Christmas all of the year long. Our job as Christians is take what we have learned this Christmas season and live in anticipation of His coming.

#trcot #tcot #Flight into Egypt

Referenced scripture: Matt. 2:13-23, Luke 9:41-48


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