“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1
“And he (Abraham) went out, not knowing where he was going.” – Hebrews 11:8
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth…” – Luke 2:4
“Now when they (the wise men) had departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and His mother and flee to Egypt…” – Matthew 2:13
#8 – Sometimes God calls us to Move
Yesterday we saw that God had all the bases covered and brought together a host of events in order for a young couple from Nazareth to be in Bethlehem at just the right time to fulfill the prophesy of the birth of Jesus. What? Yes, God is amazing!
Today I would like to look at Joseph and Mary’s Nazareth roots from a different perspective. Nazareth was home. Bethlehem was not home and would not become home. They did not move to Bethlehem. They probably stopped the newspaper, asked a neighbor to pick up their mail and feed the goat for a couple of weeks while they went to report to the census. Joseph closed the carpenter shop and informed customers of delivery delays. I’m sure the plan was to return as quickly as possible. Yes, Jesus was born in Bethlehem but He was “from” Nazareth. He was born away from home. My point is that part of God’s amazing work to coordinate world events and to get everyone into the right place required Mary and Joseph to leave home.
Most likely, once the dust settled in Bethlehem and the census was over, I’m sure that these new parents were anxious to get back home and begin their new normal. Then came another “angel-gram”….”Joseph, I need you and the fam to go to Egypt.”
“What? Egypt? You have got to be kidding me! Not only is that NOT home…it’s the opposite direction from home!”
As we look at the stories in Scripture we should not be surprised that God asks His people to go places out of their comfort zone. Many times they were asked to leave home for a time…or even for life. Do you think that maybe Joseph thought about Abraham during this change of events? Probably not. But, one thing that Joseph was learning the hard way was…
Sometimes God calls us to move.
In the case of Mary and Joseph the Gospel of Luke tells us that, “…they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.” (Luke 2:39). So, although they were called away, they did return home eventually. But, today I want us to understand that the Christmas story reveals a God who wants His people to stand ready…ready to go…ready to move…ready to answer the call even if it means leaving home.