Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt.
After Christmas, I often wonder what life was like for Mary and Joseph and the other characters in the Christmas story a year later. The shepherds were back in the fields with the sheep. Had they been changed? Inevitably. But had life itself changed that much for them? Probably not. Did they ever wish they could recapture the surprise, joy, and holiness of that angelic visitation and that holy moment at the manger? Did they wish those blessed moments could have lasted longer?
I wonder whether those shepherds watched the sky expectantly for the rest of their lives. Would the angels reappear? Would they bring another glorious message? Were the shepherds’ dreams filled with memories of that angelic visitation?
The Magi returned to their own homeland and their old lives. Life must go on, even after you have witnessed a miracle. The star that had guided them had disappeared from the sky, and their lives had been forever changed, but life on earth had not. Did they spend the rest of their lives trying to fully understand the miracle they had witnessed? Or did the daily grind of life slowly shift their focus away from that miraculous time?
Herod, the ruthless genocidal monarch, continued to abuse his power to secure his kingdom against all challengers. But did he ever find peace of mind regarding “the child born king of the Jews,” or did he remain troubled? Did the Scriptures that the chief priests and scribes had shared with him haunt his dreams?
For a time, Mary and Joseph had to live in Egypt as refugees, hiding their son from the murderous plot of Herod. Eventually, though, they returned to their home in Nazareth—Joseph to his carpentry shop and Mary to her life of homemaking and mothering. They would never be the same as a result of their experiences, but life, with its hardship and pain, daily routine, and, yes, joy and success would go on.
Yet despite this return to the ordinary sameness of life, in reality, nothing would ever be the same again; Because the Messiah had been born.
Father God, Thank You that the birth of Your own dear Son, has changed everything forever. Now there is redemption, reconciliation, and the gates of Heaven are open for sinners, and that because of the Lord Jesus, His birth, His death and His resurrection. Amen.