Advent Devotion for December 27
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “I called my son out of Egypt.”
SCRIPTURE: Hosea 11:1
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.”
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:13-15
13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, 15 and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my son out of Egypt.”
SOME THOUGHTS: The at-times mysterious ways of God are certainly evident in these passages. Put yourself in the position of Mary and Joseph. Play it through in your mind as Joseph. You have become parents to a baby you both believe to be the Son of God. You both have had encounters with angels, Mary in person with Gabriel and an angel talks to you in a dream telling you it’s all of God’s doing. Virtually no one believes your story about the “virgin birth.” You just don’t talk about it. And now, shortly after Jesus’ birth, you have a second dream in the middle of the night, a dream so vivid and direct that you wake up Mary and baby Jesus and immediately leave with them for Egypt while it is still dark. It almost sounds like someone with an overactive imagination! Yet notice again and again throughout the Old Testament how a “type” is fulfilled in the New Testament. The above Hosea pericope refers specifically of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. God, in this case, refers to Israel as his [adopted] son. In Jesus, God’s literal Son, Israel [his Church—all of us] is redeemed from sin’s bondage and slavery. Moses was called out of Egypt to lead God’s people (in the middle of the night) to freedom and the Promised Land, though Moses, (who represents the Law,) didn’t make it the whole way to the Promised Land. [i.e. The Law cannot save.] In the same way, God called his Son, Jesus, out of Egypt to lead all his children to freedom from the bondage of sin and into eternal life. I’m guessing Joseph wasn’t thinking about the Hosea passage after his angel dream! He just knew they had to leave, pronto. Have you noticed how the unfolding of daily events coincide with God’s overall plan of redemption? It is very clear that the devil was trying to thwart God’s purpose by killing his son. The angels of heaven protected Jesus here and later in his life. Tough things can happen to God’s children, but they will never derail his overall plan. I’m sure Mary and Joseph wondered about the uniqueness of their situation, but they obeyed and walked in the path before them and, as a result, fulfilled all that was said in the Scriptures. Your path today may not be as exciting, but just walk in it. Who knows what may happen?
MUSIC: "The Coventry Carol"
- Assyrian Group, dedicated to children who have suffered in Middle Eastern wars (YouTube)
- Collegium Vocale Gent (YouTube)
- Anuna (YouTube)
PRAYER: Bless all who worship You, from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same. Of your goodness, give us; with Your love, inspire us; by Your Spirit guide us; by Your power, protect us; in Your mercy receive us now and always. Amen. — 5th Century An Ancient Collect