Our scripture this week is Matthew 2:13-23.
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.
This passage concludes with the family returning to Israel after fleeing from the danger Herod posed to the baby. God had called them to an awesome task, they had accepted and obeyed, and God led them to a home where the child could grow up safely. This is the model of connection with God that Jesus would teach to all His followers – listen, obey, repeat.
God sought out Joseph and Mary for this holy charge. God seeks us in the same way everyday. We often think “if only God would speak to me as He did to people then”, but the answer is always “He does”. God has never stopped speaking to us, but in most cases we are not listening, at least not in the proper manner.
Our expectations are sometimes like those who thought the Messiah was to come as a conquering king. We expect the voice of God to reach us loud and clear. In scripture, we have God’s word, in Jesus we have the model for our lives and with the Holy Spirit we are guided, strengthened and encouraged. God calls us through all these means, if we are ready to receive His message and respond.
Gracious God, we are slow to listen and obey the loving instruction You give to us. Help us to hear Your call and do the things You ask of us. Make us energetic doers of Your word. Amen.