John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:4-11
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
I am writing in haste and trembling as I do. Our world is completely shaken up. One of the contingent from the East, who we had been enjoying so much, had a dream that they should flee, and we should also. Rumors have arrived in their camp that Herod would kill our little Jesus. He thinks he's the competition! Some people are so needy for power and control that they have to destroy any good thing or person who might detract from them. I am sick in my heart, Auntie. Joseph woke from his sleep, early this morning to say we must go now. Not home, but we must run away quickly into Egypt where the rulers here have no authority. Oh, I wanted to go home do much. I am trying to be brave but I am terrible at it.
The generosity of strangers is amazing, though. We had so little and yet, with the many gifts we have been given, we will have food and shelter for our journey. I do not know how long we will have to be away. Joseph is packing as I write. I am enclosing a letter for Mama and Papa, which I hope you will deliver after a few days. They were so worried when we left and now, oh my, I feel like they need us more than ever. I need them so and just want to go home. This child is such a gift from God, Auntie, yet some people would hurt and destroy all the good that God gives us. I cannot see the future, but I know, deep in my heart, that Jesus will be all that God promised us, if we can just keep him safe for now. The cost is pretty high, though, and I ache to be wrapped in Mama's arms right now. Please tell her that!
Don't try to find us. We will be in touch when we are settled and safe, but it may be awhile. Please pray for us. Pray that I can be strong. And please visit Mama soon and tell her God goes with us and we will see one another again.