It wasn’t easy bringing the Christchild into the world. As beautifully as we present the story on Christmas Eve, with candlelight and touching music, as sweet and contained as our crèche scenes are, the truth is: it was a really stressful beginning for this young, holy family.
On Sunday, we will retell the story of how the Magi, these mysterious, regal astrologers from another land came following a star, presenting precious gifts to this child. After that, it gets complicated. These visitors get caught up in a political tangle with the wicked puppet king Herod and outwit him. The young, bewildered father Joseph keeps listening to God in his dreams and ends up helping protect this new family by fleeing as refugees to Egypt (Matthew 2:1-23).
You can find this story again and again in your daily newsfeed. Millions of families around the world displaced by the machinations of corrupt and brutal leaders. Our congregation recently received and continues to help a similarly young family fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan. And they’re just one family among millions.
What does this ancient story say to us about how God shows up in the world? And how are we called to respond? What stars are trying to light your way? What dreams do you need to listen to?
On Sunday, we will reflect on these questions as we live further into this third decade of this third millennium after the birth of baby Jesus. Please also keep this Saturday’s kickoff planning retreat for our congregation’s purpose clarification process in your prayers. May we all be listening for God in our dreams and the signs and wonders around us.
This Advent and Christmastide we have been following the series From Generation to Generation from A Sanctified Art. Recalling Mary’s words in the Magnificat:
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
God’s mercy is for those who fear God from generation to generation. (Luke 1:48b, 50)
Image credit: “Flight to Egypt” by Rev. Lauren Wright Pittman. Inspired by Matthew 2:13-23 © a sanctified art | sanctifiedart.org