Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Matthew 2:19 ESV
Somedays we may wonder if and when we will ever emerge from the Covid-19 world. Some may be looking forward with the hope that Christmas will not be cancelled again. The rest of us are just longing for the good old days when a world-wide epidemic was simply the subject of science fiction. But the reality is that forces were trying to cancel God’s promises and destroy Christmas long before King Herod’s murderous plot and the wise men’s journey to Bethlehem.
As the sweet baby Jesus lay in the manger surrounded by shepherds, Joseph and Mary knew little of the dangers that lay ahead. They went to sleep that night trusting God just as they had always done. Then while they slept God sent His angel to warn them and direct them on their journey to safety.
So, as we face our dangers spelled out by daily new case counts, death rates and fears, remember that God also has a plan for us. Just as He kept Christmas alive in spite of Herod’s plans, so He will keep both Christmas and his plan for you and me alive no matter what comes. Even if our malls and restaurants close again or if we are unable to light candles together at church on Christmas Eve, God will keep His promise alive in our hearts forever if we will only trust in Him!
When our barns are filled
Or the fields are dry
Our hope remains in the Lord
Not a grip of despair
On the wheel of our life
But a joy and a rest on His Word
When grief comes to steal
Our song in the night
His melody’s rings out so strong
That tells of the stream
And His pasture that’s green
And our Shepherd who leads us along
Our Hope is in the Lord by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2021 all rights reserved
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:12-13 ESV
This week a group from our church made a trip to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. It was interesting how they came back with wonderful stories of their time together and just a little bit about the Ark itself. I thought that fitting as the idea of finding the Ark of Noah has been embedded in the imagination of countless generations of both Christian and non-Christians alike. But even if one day someone finds the actual wooden structure of the ark it really wouldn’t change a thing. Believers would still believe and unbelievers would still be doubting.
You might think that a bit harsh but consider that God did leave us a sign of His faithfulness in the clouds. It is called a rainbow. Everyone over the age of five has seen at least one rainbow in the sky in their lifetime and few remember who put it there. God left us this beautiful yet fleeting sign of His eternal love and kindness. How many will see it and believe? But it is still a great experience to go take a trip to the Ark encounter for yourself. You won’t be sorry ( and be sure to check out the nearby Creation museum.) It is a trip worth taking, but far less spectacular than one single rainbow!