Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD. Isaiah 60:1-6
The Wise Men warned us and then it was confirmed in a dream. The authorities have found out where we are and are not happy that some think out little boy is a king. This child is not a political tool, or a seed of rebellion. This child is a gift from God and we have to protect him. The kind people who took us in, the wise women who have helped us over and over, all the people that have sheltered and fed us - none of them need the law to come down on them. We have to leave and will do so at first light. We are all packed and will move in the cool of the morning, resting in the heat of the day. I hope Mary is strong enough now but we have no choice. God said we must go out of the land and we can only obey. Thank God for the gifts we received. We may have enough to stay alive for a time. I pray we never have to beg.
I am struggling with our leaving, not because this is our home, but because somehow this stable and this little corner of Bethlehem has become like home to us. Strangers have become friends, all because of one little child. Our embarrassment and need has turned into a community of strength and joy. God turned all of our want and confusion into an oasis and a safe harbor. I wish we were heading home in the morning, but I have to trust that God will find us a new home there. As I write the boy and his mother sleep. There is such a sweetness in their rest, such a tenderness as they breath together, I never expected all of this. And tomorrow begins a new adventure that I never thought I would experience. God has made this homebody carpenter into a pilgrim, an adventurer and a father in such a short time. I can't even imagine what's next.
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.