Saturday, December 27, 2014

Flight into Egypt: Joseph, Mary and the Christ Child

Image from "The Nativity Story" New Line Cinema ©2006

The family was exhausted after the unexpected visit of the Magi.  They slept soundly that night, reliving the day's event in their dreams.  But the night would be cut short, for a voice pierced Joseph's dream.

 "Arise, Joseph!" 

Joseph stirred in his sleep. He was accustomed to being awakened by the Child some nights.  But his dream was arrested by a figure in white. It seemed to be speaking to him. It was insistent.  

"Joseph, arise...quickly!"  

He was attentive, even as he dreamed.

"Take Mary and Jesus," 

the stranger ordered, 

"and flee to Egypt.  Stay there until I bring you further word. Herod is even now on his way to destroy the Child."
Joseph rose with a start.  This was no was a word from God!  Immediately he began to awaken Mary.  Shaking her, he urged, 

"Mary, quickly, you must get up!" 
"Joseph, what is it?  Is it the Child?" 

She rubbed her eyes and sat up.
"An angel, angel disrupted my dreams with a warning. We must flee immediately to Egypt..."

Mary interrupted, raising her voice. She was now wide awake. 

"Herod is seeking to destroy our Son.  He is threatened by his mere existence, and wants no other king, present or future, to ruin his reign."
By now, Mary was up, hastily gathering what few provisions they had to sustain them on their long journey.  Jesus began to stir.  Joseph gazed at him, his brows furrowed with worry.  

"Father God, protect your Son.  Lead us to your chosen place.  Reveal your plan." 

A smile began to form on the earthly father's face as he watched his son in peaceful sleep. It was then he realized,

 "Yes, you will be with us, won't you, Father?  You ARE with us...Emmanuel!
"The gifts, Joseph. We can't forget the gifts.  They will provide what we need for the journey."  

Mary lifted them from a high shelf where they had placed them the night before, so young fingers could not play with the precious contents.  

'How could the Magi have known..."  

Mary pondered the providence of her heavenly Abba.
The donkey packed, Mary was quickly seated on the burdened beast. The Child, still sleeping, was placed in his mother's arms. Mary adjusted her position to accommodate the growing boy.
Joseph, with a rapid pace, lead the tiny family through the dark winding streets, and out into the open fields.  His eyes scanned the countryside, looking for anything or anyone that might be a threat.  He spotted a small army advancing from between the northern hills, bearing their torches.

His pace quickened, and soon they were headed south, down towards En-Gedi, the arid land where David hid from Saul.  He pondered the irony of the situation. Another century, another wicked king, pursuing the one who would be King.

"History does repeat," thought Joseph, "Just as King David was saved from his enemies, I know God our Father will protect Jesus from His adversaries."

Scripture does not record their journey or the emotions felt during this unstable time for the Christ Child and his earthly parents. The uncertainty of their destination, and the political situation threatening to destroy God's people brought fear into their hearts. The identity of the child in Mary's arms, revealed by the Magi, Angels and Prophets of old brought wonder.

What were Mary's thoughts that night as they journeyed into the unknown? It very well might have been a prayer . . . 

               -from "Christmas Musings" by Jarm Del Boccio ©2012

A Mother's Prayer

I pray you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe

I pray we'll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night
Remind us where you are

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

A world where pain and sorrow will be ended
And every heart that's broken will be mended
And we'll remember we are all God's children
Reaching our to touch you
Reaching to the stars

We ask that life be kind
And watch us from above
We hope each soul will find
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Needs to find a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe



Published by
Lyrics ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. Universal Music Publishing Group


  1. I love hearing that song on the radio; I didn't realize the title though. Thanks for sharing your devos.

    1. Yes, my daughter and I sang it at our Christmas program. Thanks for reading and commenting, Tina!


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Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
From Egypt to Israel