In our home we tend to cherish traditions during the Christmas season. There are the holiday movies that we hope will end with happy snuggles on the couch and will be free of distractions. The impromptu times of hopping in the car to drive around, oohing and awing at the beautifully decorated homes with twinkling lights in hope that the wonder in the kids eyes will match the effort made on our part as parents. Or, the baking sessions that will produce fun family memories and Pinterest worthy Christmas treats. Then reality happens, and movie time is filled with shush's and "get off your phone" quarrels. The awe and wonder of twinkling lights turns in to heated words of who is touching who and statements of boredom that grate on the very last nerve you had left for the evening. And the Pinterest worthy treats are only as good as the incredible mess left in their wake.
When the wise men came to visit Jesus, they didn't find a perfectly manicured scene like we tend to have been taught growing up. There wasn't a shepherd boy standing nearby, or a fluffy white lamb keeping this heavenly baby warm as he lay in a perfectly situated manager. Mary and Joseph were not lovingly looking down at a baby that apparently glows with light. In Matthew 2 we read that the wise men entered the house where the child was. This gives us a few clues that they were no longer in the stable and Jesus was no longer a baby but a toddler. It also tells us that, according to the timeline of when the star appeared, Herod asked not just for all of the babies to be killed, but all male children under the age of 2. That doesn't leave very Pinterest worthy pictures in our mind does it? Because of this, Mary and Joseph must flee to Egypt.
These key clues are very important for us to know in understanding the fulfillment of the prophecies given by the prophets in the old testament. It was foretold that "out of Egypt I called my son". They fled to Egypt and then God called them out of Egypt and they moved from there to Nazareth, where this young man would be known as Jesus of Nazareth.
Just as our family traditions don't ever seem to go as picture perfect as planned, the Christmas story, a bit of messy story, is not perfectly put together, but beautifully orchestrated to share the greatest gift to all! Spend time this season remembering that, through the mess, His story is truly full of beauty!
Next week: Moses was born and called