Matthew 2:13-14 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt,
We live in a time when religion is viewed as an intensely personal thing, something just between me and God. The problem is that this view has nothing to do with God, or his revealed word, or his plan for our lives. In other words, the current accepted view of religion according to the world is a myth Ė a myth the world is content to follow blindly.
We know this is true because God has shown us in the scriptures. We have seen that God didnít just kind of appear in human form, a disguise you can put on at will. No, God became flesh, he took human nature into himself, with all that that implies. We begin our lives as babies, and so when God sent his son into the world, He also was born a little baby. Little babies canít take care of themselves, thatís why God gives babies to parents. And when Jesus was born, he was born into a family Ė a father, Joseph and a mother, Mary. Sometimes we forget how important families are in Godís plan of salvation. Not only was Jesus born into a family, but as the church grew, it didnít grow by individuals, it grew by whole families.
Its sad to say, that these days, children are so busy being individuals that often they find they donít have time to be part of a family. Its sad, because its parents who let this happen. I donít know why this is, perhaps they need more training on how to be parents, perhaps we havenít prayed for them as we should. Thatís something we often forget, one of the ways we honor our parents is to pray for them Ė not pray that theyíll let us do what we want, but pray that they will do Godís will for us.
So, what is a family all about? Its about care, protection, nurture, love, training, discipline, and learning to work together. The family is the smallest unit of the church, for God promises to be present where two or more gather in His name. The family is also the safest place to talk about God, faith, and salvation Ė we practice sharing our faith in our families before we go out into the world. These are just some of the blessings God gives to families.
But the greatest blessing is that when God came to earth, he chose to be part of a family Ė it is important Ė God wants us to understand, that he really does understand us, he really knows the troubles we face Ė and He really is able to help.
Consider the events of Christmas, arriving in Bethlehem, no room in the inn Ė the family pulls together, and by the time the wisemen arrive, the holy family has a home, for when they arrive, they arrive at the house, not a stable. And when they leave, an angel warns them of Herodís plan, and they leave their home in the middle of the night and flee to Egypt. Most families find being uprooted sort of traumatic, even a simple move is a major ordeal. Jesus understands, he understands because he saw the same sorts of stress that continue to face us today. Sometimes we come as individuals, for we can all pray to God, each from our heart Ė but it is also important that we come together as families in prayer, for God has given us all gifts, and working together we can do much, in Jesus name.