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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Preparation and Distraction (Part 3 of 4 - 'A Journey into Danger' Matthew 2:13)


Just Like a KFC chicken; not every journey has a happy end...

This the third and penultimate post in this Advent series of 'Preparation and Distraction' we're nearly there; the gates of Bethlehem are coming into view...

If anyone here is a fan of great fantasy literature by authors like Raymond E Feist, Michael Moorcock and of course Tolkien or, for that matter TV shows like Star Trek you will understand how thrilling, a story of an epic journey can be. 'A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' or so the old saying goes. All these old stories have that in common...mostly ordinary men, women (and of course Hobbits) taking that first step of faith into adventure, danger and legend.

There was one such couple that I'm sure you've heard about, that went on a memorable journey, a long planned and prepared for journey, a journey that took place; oh, about 2000 years ago!

This ancient journey to Bethlehem is one that truly catches our imagination. as we prepare ourselves for the imminent arrival of Christmas, we remember this journey. It's almost strange that we don't hear more about the journey itself. Any avid readers would expect such an important journey to be filled with misadventure and action...but this comes later; a vengeful King Herod, the slaughter of innocents and ultimately an epic dash to freedom...the Holy, first family and their escape to Egypt.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." - Matthew 2:13

So we have the makings of a great story; a journey, a villain, mortal danger. All we need is a mighty hero riding into battle to save the day...this hero does things differently; this hero will live His life in the shadow of service and sacrifice; His, is a journey to pain and suffering and to glory...This is Christmas, this isn't just some flowery story of shepherds and angelic choirs. This is a story of one greater than all of us, more wonderful, more worthy, better in every conceivable way; living to serve and to sacrifice for the least.

As we continue the relentless march towards Christmas, as our preparations and distractions reach fever pitch in this, the third week of Advent... Remember the journey that the Holy family took, a journey as we said, of service and sacrifice. I urge you to reflect on your own journeys and what God is asking of you and remember that God will be with you; or to put it another way:

'The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.' - Psalm 23:1-4


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