13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
My mind always goes to the sweet Baby, the wonder of angels singing and shepherds and wise men kneeling in worship but there’s a horrible component to the original story, that Matthew relates, about the depravity of man. There was least one angel that didn’t sing Gloria but came with a warning to Joseph…“take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That long ago story is a terrible reality of a jealous and spiteful king’s solution.
God had a different solution – an Intervention – the Word made Flesh so we would see with our own eyes. That was a new idea for me from a sermon by Pastor Carl Franzon. The premise was that God may have come to the end of His patience waiting for His creation to respond and recognize Him and took action. That certainly is the reality of a powerful and sovereign truth.
I think it’s “how” God chose to insert himself into our world that tells the rest of the story of this Intervention. A baby: the least intimidating human form. A baby to bridge the gap between a terrible reality and the sovereign truth. A baby that centuries later still causes us to feel something personal about this Intervention that happened so long ago. That’s Advent.