Prayer: Be with me, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Reading: Matthew 2: 13-23 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I can’t imagine what Joseph was thinking when the angel came to him in a dream and told him to flee. I try to put myself in Joseph’s shoes, as a new father, and how I would react. I’m sure I would say something like, “Are you kidding me?” And then to hear about what Herod was doing to infants. I’d probably be scared to death!
For my daughter’s baptism, I accidentally typed the wrong scripture reading into the bulletin. We were supposed to read a great passage about baptism, but instead this was what I printed. So, the pastor that preached gave a sermon, on my daughter’s big day, tying baptism into this story. I honestly can’t remember what his words were (I’ll have to go back and look at the video tape) but I thought he did a great job considering the circumstances.
On this day after Christmas, we may have a bit of a holiday hangover, but I’m glad that I have been reminded of my baptism. There’s a reason Jesus came to this earth as a little baby. Through the power of water and word, I’ve been claimed and live a life better than I could have without Jesus in my life. In these days of Christmas, may we be reminded that in the darkest of times, like the killing of babies so long ago by Herod, Jesus is in our midst. –Chad Hershberger
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