Giving Community: Advent Day 4

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.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, 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.” (Matthew 2:13–15 NLT)

This is not the first time in scripture we find a descendant of Abraham fleeing to Egypt to find sanctuary from a foreign leader. After the destruction of the temple and exile of most of the people of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon appointed a governor over those who remained. When a Judean killed him and all those with him, “all the people of Judah, from the least to the greatest, as well as the army commanders, fled in panic to Egypt, for they were afraid of what the Babylonians would do to them” (2 Kings 25:26).

It was likely a remnant of this Jewish community in Egypt that welcomed Joseph, Mary, and Jesus when they left Israel and crossed the desert in search of sanctuary. Regardless of whether this young family was in Egypt for months or years, we know they felt safe enough to call it their temporary home until they knew they could return once more to Israel without fear for their lives. Above all, the community they found themselves a part of in Egypt afforded them the safety and security they were lacking in Israel. Spend a few minutes reflecting on when you were granted safety in the midst of a dangerous situation, and thank God for those who assisted you and how He guided you in that situation. Look for ways to be that place of sanctuary and refuge for others.