The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
Matthew 2:13-18 (NRSV)
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, "Out of Egypt I have called my son."
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
"A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more."
Today’s scripture reading speaks to the importance of listening to the voice of God.
Some would say that God doesn’t speak clearly in 2009; I would beg to differ. God is always speaking to us; we simply need to put our listening ears on!
God speaks to us through scripture and song. God speaks to us through nature and friendships. God speaks to us in a still small voice or in a “strange feeling” in our heart.
God is always talking with us, but we need to learn to listen!
I am so glad that Joseph had his “listening ears” on. When God told him to get up and take Mary and Jesus to Egypt, he did just that! He didn’t wait around, ask questions, or seek other counsel. He knew that God had given him a command and he obeyed with expediency!
As parents, we know how important it is for our children to obey us when we speak to them. I don’t want to yell “HOT!” at my daughter, only to have her continue to reach out toward the stove asking me, “Why?”
I want her to obey me immediately and without questions trusting that I will never tell her to do anything that is not for her good. Additionally, I want her to obey immediately; I have heard it said that delayed obedience is disobedience.
If Joseph had said, “God I will take Jesus into Egypt in a few weeks after I have time to say goodbye to my family and pack up my belongings, he might have been murdered by Herod.
Instead, Jesus lived to become the savior of the world—feeding the hungry, healing the sick, raising the dead, and ultimately dying and rising again on the third day in order to forgive our sin and gift us with eternal life!
Because Joseph was obedient, God’s good plan unfolded without a hitch. In what ways is God calling you to greater obedience in 2010?
Let us pray:
Holy One, thank you that you are always speaking to me. Please forgive me for the many ways that I have taken your instruction, commandment, and rebuke for granted. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit afresh so that my heart will be attuned to you. I want to go higher in Jesus in the upcoming year and that requires radical obedience to Your Word. I love you and I promise to share our love with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @