Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mary Letters - Day 36 The Epiphany

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
`And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. Matthew 2:1-12

Dear Aunt Elizabeth ,

Oh I am shaken up and bewildered, as things are changing so rapidly here. I write to you as we pack up to leave for a desperately long journey. It's so complicated, I best start from the beginning.

 Before the sun rose this morning, as the night air was crisp and cold, we heard a knocking on the barn door. We opened it to find three very regal men, outfitted in their splendid regalia, who said they came to worship our child! We invited them in and had them sit and tell us their story. They had been to the king and that is why they came by night. They knew Herod was looking to kill the child. They wanted to safely honor the baby and get on their way home. The most amazing thing happened - they knelt beside the rough manger where Jesus slept and prayed  and sang in their langauage. Then they gave him gifts! Amazing things, things I had never seen before but only heard of!! Gold, franckincense and myrrh! We were overwhelmed by their generosity and thoughtfulness. We hardly knew what to say.

They regalled us with tales of their travels, and we shared a meal with them as they rested for their journey. They have to travel at night since Herod is after them also. They advised us to be on our way after night fall tonight! When they left, we stood like statues,  holding one another and watching them go, both silently wondering whether perhaps we were dreaming.

Oh Auntie, this is more than I can take in, wonderful and frightening all at the same time. We are to travel to Egypt, since they accept refugees and Joseph has some distant cousins there we can stay with for awhile. There are just a few hours of daylight left and there is much to do before we go. The local women have prepared us food for the next few days, and given us a generous supply of dried fruits and nuts. They have also given us many skins to hold water and nagged me about drinking plenty so I can feed the baby.

I probably won't be able to write for a time until we get settled. I wanted to go home so badly and now we are going further away! Will you please visit Momma and comfort her? She worries so as does Daddy. I don't know what's ahead and I admit, I am very scared. God has brought us this far, and we have seen miracles, so I guess I'll just have to believe that God goes with us, even into Egypt. Pray for us and know we love you all so much.

All my love,


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