Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In Difficulty Seek Guidance ***

S. Matthew 2:1-23

O. This is the story of how Jesus escaped persecution when he was just a baby. God came to Joseph numerous times, giving him the needed guidance to avoid being caught and killed by Herod. Also, it tells us how Jesus became of Nazareth, guided there by God.

A. When faced with enormous difficulties, persecution and even death, we must turn to God for guidance. He will lead us through the difficult moments. This also shows that death is part of our lives, and always will be. Despite saving Mary, Joseph and Jesus from Herod’s persecution, it was not possible to save all the children that were slaughtered instead.

What a difficult passage for me. It seems so cruel, and unusual. The lengths humanity will go to protect their hold on power and authority. I see this across the planet, even to this day. In fact, the world is far worse now than in the last 4 decades.

You look at the Arab Spring, and how much human life that has been shed, with dictators and militaries trying desperately to remain in control and in power. The brutality being waged in Syria is so sad, so senseless. Where is the change?  Where is the hope?

Initially, I started writing what little God would do to help those defenseless children around Bethlehem. Then, I remembered how he threw his only son onto Earth, in such a brutal time, even more brutal than it is now. Now, there’s an emotional and physical distance between enemies. We can send drones packed with warheads and missiles and kill someone with a touch of a button. One person can walk into a school and press a trigger once and kill defenseless children with little thought or effort.

It doesn’t seem as if anything has changed.

Yet, in this story of the shepherding of Jesus and his family into and back out of Egypt, eventually to call Nazareth home, God saw to it that Jesus was saved for his ultimate sacrifice, the Crucifixion.

P. May God shepherd me through my storms, so that I may lay down my life for the benefit of all others.

The Next Scripture is Matthew 3: 1 - 17

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