A reflection by the Rev. Zachary Mabe.
Scripture: Matthew 2:13-23 (NRSV)
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.' Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, 'Out of Egypt I have called my son.'
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
'A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.'
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child's life are dead.' Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He will be called a Nazorean.'
The gifts have been opened. The family and friends have gathered. The candlelight services have taken place. Jesus' birthday has been celebrated and we have proclaimed "Joy to the world!"
And now… that week in between Christmas and New Year's. And the week after. And the week after. Sometimes, the time after Christmas can feel like a lull.
And yet, we are reminded in today's lesson, Joseph got up. Time and time again. He listened to the angels in his dreams, and he followed God's direction for his life.
"There is more truth and light yet to break forth from God's holy word." Remember that quote? There is still more work to be done. Listen to God. Get up. Live the life of faith!
[Quote above by John Robinson, addressing the Pilgrims in the 1600s. You can read more about it here: http://www.ucc.org/god-is-still-speaking_church-resources_more-light]
O God, help me to be attentive to the words you speak to me, and help me to get up and to follow you. Amen.
Originally from North Carolina, Rev. Zachary Mabe came to Connecticut in 2000 to attend Divinity School, and never left. He’s been the Pastor of the Terryville Congregational Church since 2005.
December 28, 2016