Daily Worship

Reflection Day 30

December 30, 2016 0 0

Matthew 2: 13 – 15

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.’

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 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.’

Take a moment to study this deceptively simple woodcut by the Edinburgh artist Mabel Royds (1942) holding the words of the reading in your mind. All the facts are there – it’s night, Joseph – with as much as he can carry on his back, - leads a donkey on which Mary rides, cradling her son. Look again at the faces – what feelings can you see?

How many women would be willing to make a long journey on a donkey after having a baby?! Yet Mary is completely wrapped up in looking at her son. Utterly focused on her source of her new life.   Meanwhile Joseph is deep in his thoughts. You can imagine them : ‘What am I doing? Where can I find a job and a place to stay? How can I keep this baby and his mother safe?" He’s leaning on his stick, shouldering his responsibilities : doing what he can.

The picture captures both the wonder of Mary and the commitment of Joseph, and leaves hanging in the air the idea that now their lives will never be the same again. They have willingly taken on the closest relationship with the Messiah and it will be a costly service.

Lent Disciplines

Lord, at this time of celebration of your birth we’re ready for a party.

Thrilled and amazed that you have come among us

Immanuel : God with us : one of us.

But as you lay In your cradle, took your first steps, listened at the temple,

Two people fed, clothed and guarded you.

They carried you away from unexpected violence

to a foreign land and culture – exiles, migrants, refugees.

Today I heed your call to pray and care for the outsider;

the folk among us who have left everything familiar

hoping to find a welcome, practical help and friendship.

Remind me of the quiet commitment of Mary and Joseph.

And give me the strength and devotion to joyfully commit

my life to your service.