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."
Advent has transpired, the logos has manifested itself incarnate, and during this season, we, GOD'S beloved people, are reminded of the LORD'S divine and precious promises for renewal and salvation to a wounded world as the Christ-Child, JESUS the SAVIOR, is born! The season of Advent is a time of intentional reverence to the LORD, deep peace, unquenchable anticipation, glad tidings, renewed hopes, holy regeneration, and the fragrance of evergreen, balsam, frankincense and myrrh in the air, and the bearing of gifts.
Significantly, while unquenchable anticipation and unrestrained hope have now come to cosmically divine fruition, "LOVE" has come to each of us as we intimately encounter the presence of "The Holy" in the air. Importantly, we do not know quite where to begin, much less fathom or integrate love of this caliber as we are invited to embrace a deeper awareness that no one has ever loved us like GOD does! Consequently, while the marriage and the manifestation of prophetic fulfillment and the eschatological incarnation has embodied itself in the birth of the Christ-Child, "reason" evades our consciousness as the boundary of "LOVE" knows no depth, no height, no breath, nor scope for which "anything that was," "anything that is," and "anything that shall be" can elude its presence.
An amplified look at the Advent Narrative provides us with a compelling glimpse of the intertwined nature of the coexistence joy and solemnity as the Betrothed Virgin, The Wise Old Man, and, significantly, the birth of the Christ-Child becomes the catalyst for a brand new day! As observers, we become witnesses to the psychology that functioned as the buttress for both the community and the world by and large. Moreover, on some level, we observe members of the human condition struggle with the compelling invitation to radical self-transformation and deep introspection required both by compassion and empathy for such a momentous event. The Advent Narrative informs the community of faith that subsequent to the proclamation of the annunciation and the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, a spirit of movement was pandemic as life, for many, was about to radically change in the manner in which it was once known! While the chosen Betrothed Virgin was given the news of GOD'S divine favor, she was not initially cognizant of its implications; neither was humanity then, nor in subsequent light years.
As we journey with Joseph and the pregnant Mary into the night in pursuit of safety, we are required to flee from one city to another; i.e., from Jerusalem to Egypt! How or why should this be given Mary's condition and GOD'S plan many ask? During this journey, our conversation with both Joseph and Mary; i.e., from Jerusalem to Egypt, provides each of us with an opportunity to become more intimately acquainted with the pathos of their encounter and the requirement of an exodus in their lives and as well as our own lives. Significantly, on one hand, Mary's credibility and her reputation as a virtuous woman were called into question as she was with child and without verification of an earthly father nor being married at the time of the conception. Yet on the other hand, Joseph was a respected and revered man of many years and "wisdom" whose sanity and reputation were called into question when he accepted the betrothal of Mary who he had not known, both of whom were cosmically intertwined by the birth of the Christ-Child whose life was already at risk by Herod for fear of the fulfillment of prophecy. As many of us allow ourselves to be present to this reality, we can still hear the swift winter winds sing of the presence of goodness, good will, anticipation, tidings of joy, and divine danger in the air.
The journey continues to unfold and the landscape of Jerusalem and all that was familiar to Joseph and Mary begins to fade into the background becoming a silhouette of gray and memory in the background of their existence commensurate with the landscape of Egypt that was quickly becoming magnified in the foreground of their approach and anticipation. They packed only that which was essential and were required to leave behind the both the comfort and familiarity of loved ones, family, friends, community, safety, and treasured material possessions that had helped to render meaning to their existence. In essence, they had to relinquish familiarity and embrace that which was clandestine, except to the mind and soul of GOD! Mary, Joseph, and the Christ-Child escaped into the darkness of the night as they were about to embark upon a brand new day! All three were about to encounter the Divine Dynamic of GOD which implies that freedom scares and slavery secures. When the LORD does work in each of us, with each of us, and through each of us, oftentimes, we must shift from the familiar and predictable to the unfamiliar and the unpredictable. In essence, we are oftentimes provoked to leave our Jerusalem and flee to that which is to become our Egypt!
Jerusalem might represent a myriad of challenges and invites for GOD'S PEOPLE: For some, Jerusalem might represent a lineage of strong tradition, a regal blood line, or a lucrative inheritance; for others, Jerusalem might represent status quo, a rote existence, mediocrity, or complacency; still for others, Jerusalem might represent the desire to remain connected to a relationship that is unhealthy, a friendship that is barren, but perfunctory, a self-concept that perpetuates the illusion of self-importance that believes its own "hype," but is toxic to others; even still others, Jerusalem might represent one's marriage to fear, depression, loneliness, failure, narcissism, shame, co-dependence, anger, grief, guilt, and betrayal all of which causes unremitting anguish and pandemic suffering. Significantly, as familiar and/or painful our connection to Jerusalem might be, oftentimes, we cling to this place which has the potential to be our destruction because we rather remain with familiar suffering, rather then deal with that which is clandestine.
In essence, there are many Jerusalems in our lives from which we must immediately flee in route to the Egypts that await each of us. Sometimes, we become acclimated to the trauma drama of an existence defined by the schema of Jerusalem, because the fear of serious self-reflection and vulnerability has caused far too many persons to abort their psychospiritual developmental process. Moreover, the reason that we must flee from our Jerusalem is couched in the same reality like unto that of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, namely, safe in Mary's arms, Jesus is taken into Egypt where he escapes Herod's massacre of the innocent children of Bethlehem! Plainly stated, Herod desires to destroy the story in you that GOD desires to get lived out in your submission to the Holy Spirit. Beloved, Flee Jerusalem; Go To Egypt! Significantly, a word of caution must be expressed here: Running away from one's problems or running away from oneself is not the same as one taking an exodus from Jerusalem to Egypt!
Consequently, Mary, Joseph, and the Christ-Child offer us hope and inspiration during the Christmas season because they surge forward in faith. For some persons, this time of year will bring the closeness and love of family and friends and security, yet for other persons, this time of year will heighten the lack of closeness, potentially fuel exclusion, recapitulate loss, and deflate hope. Nevertheless, Beloved of God, you must flee from Jerusalem and journey to Egypt because there is a cosmic threat on either your life or the quality of your life should you decide to remain! As we approach the landscape of Egypt, we do so with a greater degree of reverence and intimacy to GOD as we are compelled by our potential under the light of the brilliance of the CHRIST-CHILD as well as convicted by "TRUTH" in the places where we have tenaciously cleaved to Jerusalem when GOD urged us to journey to Egypt!
In essence, the presence of goodness and grace not only safely escorted Mary, Joseph, and the Christ-Child into Egypt, but GOD'S love, mercy, and grace sustained them while they remained there until the death of Herod! Despite the presence of divine danger, which is a critical part of the spiritual journey, GOD was expressing himself in love when he sent an angel and urged the Holy Family to leave their familiar surroundings. Significantly, there were lessons in Egypt with which the Holy Family had to encounter that would assist in the cosmic development and the mission of the Messiah.
Significantly, GOD sends the Christ-Child to Egypt and GOD calls the Christ-Child out of Egypt for in doing so, GOD grants his beloved creation the gift of A Brand New Day! During the Christmas season, may the LORD GOD envelop you in HIS presence and in this sacred and holy place may you find Love, Peace, Joy, Contentment, Safety, Renewal, Release, Hope, and Security in your exodus from Jerusalem to Egypt!
Blessings and Peace for a Prosperous and Spiritually Transformative New Year!
[I will dedicate two weeks of WORD in the forthcoming two months to the dynamic of DIVINE DANGER].
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