Growing up in Safety
FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
SUNDAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS – YEAR A
3-6 year olds
In the Gospel reading this Sunday, we hear about trouble. Trouble can make us feel uncomfortable. Jesus' family has to leave their home country of Israel quickly, and travel to Egypt, a country far away, because it is not safe for them to stay. Reading this makes my stomach feel a little upset. I don't like thinking about Jesus not being safe.
But what do we hear? We hear about Joseph taking Mary and Jesus away from the trouble. He keeps them away from the trouble and keeps them safe in Egypt. He keeps them there until it is safe for them to return to Israel, their home. He finds a safe town for them to live so that Jesus can grow up in safety.
How does Joseph know how to keep Jesus and Mary safe? He listens to God. Always, always. So what is God doing? God is protecting Jesus. God is protecting Mary and Joseph. God is protecting this little family who hold the Light of God. We can say God protects.
We have discovered something about God!
Jesus was just a baby when these things happened, but I bet Mary told him these stories as he grew up. Do your parents tell you stories about things that happened when you were a baby or before you were born? We learn something from these stories. What would Jesus learn from the story of Joseph taking them to Egypt until it was safe to return?
I think he would discover just what we discovered: God protects.
We know he discovered this, because when he was grown he said:
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
And he didn't just say it. He did it.
He learned this from Joseph, who listened to God.
Jesus loves all his sheep with a protective love. He lays down his life for the sheep.