Sunday, August 09, 2009

Matthew 2:13-23

13 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."
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 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."
16 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. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 "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."
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 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."
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 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, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

Our journeys to Egypt teach us the importance of waiting.

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where all we can do is wait.

Often the circumstances surrounding such times of waiting are very painful. Sometimes we are forced to wait because our choices have landed us in an Egypt of our own making.

We often find ourselves stuck in a place that we can't get out of and our only hope is to wait for God to move.

Sometimes we are forced to wait on things beyond our control.

Some of us see a son or daughter making willful choices to embrace a life of sin and destruction, and so we must wait on God to call them up out of Egypt and back to the land of the living.

A physical discovery that leads to tests which means waiting on results. The anxiety of waiting can be overwhelming and our stay in Egypt often seems far too long.

However, if we are anxious to move too quickly beyond the waiting to the resolution, we will miss the lessons of our stay in Egypt.

God called Joseph to move his family away from the only land they had ever known into a foreign country where they were complete strangers.

They were uprooted and detached from everything they knew, but clung tightly to the hope that God had a purpose for their stay in Egypt. They were warned of Herod's coming destruction and so they left home for the land of Egypt.

God sent Jesus to identify with us on the level of our human experience and need. Often we find our hearts in exile.

We are in trouble and we know it. We find ourselves wandering in the far country of the soul wondering if we'll ever get home again.

Jesus can identify with our experiences of wandering and exile. He knows how much we long to get home, but he also knows that we must wait, and that in waiting we learn how to depend on God.

No one can rush God's plan. Believe me, he has a timeframe in mind and our best efforts at speeding it along will not affect the outcome he has in mind.

Waiting for God is not easy. Often it seems that he isn't answering our prayers or doesn't understand the urgency of our situation.

But even thinking that way implies that God is not in control of our lives. God is worth the wait.

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