Our scripture for Sunday is Matthew 2:13-23.
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.”
Receiving a warning in a dream, Joseph is told that Herod wants to kill the child. Like any good father, he protects them. He listens to God’s command and takes them to safety in Egypt. This reinforces the pattern of hearing and obeying begun when he was told of the sacredness of the child entrusted to them.
Humans are creatures of habit, bad and good. What we think, say and do repeatedly becomes the pattern of our lives. There is an old saying, “Be careful what you think, your thoughts become your words. Be careful what you say, your words become your actions. Be careful what you do, your actions become your habits.” God wants us to pattern ourselves after the perfect model, Jesus Christ who came to love and teach and save us.
How can we practice obedience? First, it must be intentional – we must make the decision and the effort to follow God’s path for us. Second, it must be repeated over and over. The constancy of practice becomes the stability of action. Finally, it must be out of our love for God, and our honest desire to be connected to Him always. By our connection and love for God, we can better connect and love those around us.
Patient God, we know You are waiting for us to give up our earthly desires and return to You. Help us to be the disciples You intend here so that we may be with You in eternity. Amen.