The Escape to Egypt
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.”
Sometimes, in the midst of magical beginnings in old places, we suddenly get the call to escape into the wilderness, because the old ways, the old places, are now dangerous.
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.”[a] 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:
Sometimes, even though we were right in making a journey away, into the jungle, people still get hurt. And we may blame ourselves. Or maybe we tell ourselves that we could’ve stopped the pain, if we’d been there. But we must remember, it’s not our fault. It’s not our fight. (Take note of the role is the Magi here.)
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.”[b]
And even though it’s not our fault, not our fight, we will hear of the pain. And we can’t wish it away, we must listen.
The Return to Nazareth
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, that he would be called a Nazarene.
Sometimes we hear the message that’s it’s safe to return to the old places. The old ways. But halfway there we realize that that’s not entirely true, but, that it’s okay to stay somewhere else. And we find ourselves lost at sea again. But it’s okay. We’re okay. We can breath easier, even in the wilderness.