Reflections on Faith and Community
In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.
Andrew S. Odom
God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him. (Matthew 2:13, MSG)
Stories in the Old Testament tell about the many years of exile the Jewish people had to endure from dominating rulers like the Babylonian Empire. Prophets like Jeremiah would preach about God’s judgment alongside the hope of God’s promise to bring them home. In chapter 31, Jeremiah quotes God as specifically saying, “I will bring them back. They will walk a straight path and not stumble.” In one way or another, all of the prophets spoke of God’s promise to return the people home from exile.
The unexpected thing about the salvation story, though, is the manner in which God ultimately began to fulfill this promise. What we are surprised to find is how God shows up. The savior comes, not as an all-powerful king in command with the authority to make decrees and create armies, but instead, as a refugee on the run from the law. In chapter 2 of his gospel, Matthew gives us the rundown on the whole thing, telling us about an angel that sends the family of Jesus to Egypt to hide at the time of his birth. Jesus, it seems, began his life enduring the same exile God promised to rescue the people from.
When you put Jeremiah and Matthew side by side, the good news reminder you get is this: God truly became one of us, leaving his home and becoming a refugee. God went into exile. In Jesus Christ, God went to the far places in order to win our hearts and bring us home.
Published on 01/06/2017 @ 9:00 AM CDT