Matthew 2:12-15, 19-23 (CEV)
12 Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.
The Escape to Egypt
13 After the wise men had gone, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Hurry and take the child and his mother to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is looking for the child and wants to kill him.”
14 That night, Joseph got up and took his wife and the child to Egypt, 15 where they stayed until Herod died. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “I called my son out of Egypt.”
The Return from Egypt
19 After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph while he was still in Egypt. 20 The angel said, “Get up and take the child and his mother back to Israel. The people who wanted to kill him are now dead.”
21 Joseph got up and left with them for Israel. 22 But when he heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was now ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Then in a dream he was told to go to Galilee, 23 and they went to live there in the town of Nazareth. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “He will be called a Nazarene.”
The visitors from the East had to return a different way. The journey they had planned was not to be.
Joseph had to take his family to a different place than he intended. He could not return to his home – at least not yet.
There journeys were not what they expected.
We’ve all had unexpected journeys. One’s we weren’t expecting to make, ones that didn’t quite go to plan. I suspect many of us could write a whole book about them! They are usually incredibly stressful, not what we had planned. But as I mentioned at the start, our eldest son’s philosophy is that that is all part of the fun. Each delay is an opportunity, especially if it demands a detour to get to where you were going – or perhaps to end up somewhere else altogether. (Personally, I can do without that kind of excitement when trying to get somewhere – maybe I have something to learn)
As we come to the end of this #adventbookclub, and Maggi’s excellent book, how has our journey been? Has it taken us where we expected? Or have we learned new things, had different experiences? Heard God tell us things we never imagined?
And what about the journey onwards from here? For the end of the book is the beginning of the rest of our journey. And as Maggi reminds us (p166), we can never go back once we have encountered Jesus.
Where will we go? What will God show us? Where will he take us?
Are we ready to hear and to follow?
Thank you to everyone who has shared this journey, brought new insights, suggested different paths, shone the light so we could see the way ahead. And especially thanks to Maggi for writing the book.
This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it. Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below. If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.