Today’s Reading: Matthew 2:1-23; Luke 2:39-52
It seems to me that life is a strange mixture of victory and on the other hand warfare for us as Christians! So here comes the wise men, probably not even men belonging to God, traveling from the far east – they come to worship the King of the Jews. It is a wonderful thing to see and find people in my life seeking for our Saviour – ever experienced it in your life? Although the chief priests and teachers of the law, can quote the Scriptures and know the place where the Saviour is to be born, yet they have no interest to look for the Saviour and have no interest or any way to point others to the Saviour in a meaningful way! Hopefully I am not that kind of a Christian. If I am, 1 Corinthians 13:1 calls me “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal – how irritating and frustrating to those around me! And King Herod is just a calculating dreadful murderer! But the Father knows how to protect His own Son from such a dreadful enemy and His Son is safely hidden in Egypt until the danger is past! I’m so glad my Saviour’s Father is mine too, and the Father knows how to care for me too, until the dangers of this life are past! But the cold calculating murder of little children brings a great sadness to my heart, and shows how merciless my enemy is too! But the good news is that nothing is able to hinder my loving Father’s plan for me in this life!
The story is like a fairy tale, but I know that if Joseph’s and Mary’s deliverance was so beautiful, the danger must have seemed very real to them too! And I encourage myself that as His guidance was always there for them at the right moment, so it will always be there for me too in this life! And so they arrive safely back in Nazareth, where in obscurity the Saviour “grew and became strong, and filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him!” I wonder for myself whether that is true about myself or my girls as they grow into womanhood! A good goal for life!
I am intrigued to read and quietly think in depth about the outstanding characteristic(s) recorded about our Saviour in the various stages of life – good instruction for what to look for and work towards in raising a family! A child, a twelve year old, and the hidden years up to thirty – what helpful details! How beautiful at the age of twelve, when approaching the teenage years when it is a temptation to become rebellious, Jesus is busy in His Father’s house listening and asking thoughtful questions of deep understanding! I feel convicted that Joseph and Mary like me, take too many things for granted – “SUPPOSING Jesus was in their company” only to find He wasn’t there, and then having to search with such anxiety and retrace their steps so painfully in their anxious search for their missing Son! Hopefully, I as a parent will find my children in the Father’s house quietly doing His things in life! Is it any wonder that Mary treasures so many things in her heart – things about this perfect Son and watches with wonder at Jesus’ growing wisdom and stature, in favour with God and men! I know of no other more meaningful thing to see in my life, than what Mary and Joseph saw in this growing boy, who was both so human, yet so God-like (He was God too)! I pray God that I will not fail in my responsibilities as a parent, while working alongside God my loving Father in the lives of my beautiful family He has so graciously enriched my life with!
Where else more touching to see God at work, than in the lives of myself and my own family! These last six months, the verse that comes so constantly to mind is Psalm 16:11
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.
It becomes the wistful longing of my heart more and more!