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.”
The maji have left, avoiding Herod and his need to kill any future leader of the Jews; and now it is time to rescue the holy family. Joseph is visited by an angel again and told to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt and stay there until it's safe.
I have learned enough from Mary over the last three weeks to have an inkling that this might not have gone down that well. It is likely that she would have had at least one more child by this time and that leaving her community and support networks would have been a tricky prospect. I verge onto the heretic as I wonder whether she would have queried Joseph; after all the previous instructions were given to her as well as Joseph and this time she was having to follow his lead. On the other hand, she would no doubt have realised what danger Jesus might be in as the Messiah of the Jewish people, the future leader of a nation. She would have wanted to keep him safe and would have been pleased to have whatever guidance available to do so.
This is one of these places where I long for more relational detail from the Bible, more depth from which a greater picture could emerge. But I also know that if it were important it would have been included, what actually matters is that the family follow their instructions and flea, keeping Jesus and their whole family safe.
Prayer of the day
Father I find it relatively easy to follow you when you lead me directly, but I find it harder when I must rely on other human beings; today I am reminded that you use whoever and whatever is appropriate to save us from harm. Thank you.