17 January

God’s in Control and the angels are busy!

Hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed the snow this week. Have you had time to look at your “baby book” and perhaps start one for Jesus?

Have you been thinking about Jesus as a baby and wondering what happened after he’d been taken by his mum and dad to the Temple?

Well let’s find out.

Some people think that Mary and Joseph stayed in Bethlehem for a while and that Jesus might have been 2 years old by the time the Wise Men arrived, the Bible doesn’t really tell us that but what we do know is that God knew what was happening and He knew that Herod was an evil king who once he heard there might be another king around would stop at nothing to get rid of him. So God got busy and sent His messenger (an angel) to tell the Wise Men not to go back to Herod and tell him where Jesus was living. Fortunately the Wise Men were wise, they were prepared to listen to this angel and to change their plans so, as we know , they went home by a different route.

God then sent an angel ( we don’t know if it was the same one) to Joseph in a dream and told him that Herod wanted to kill Jesus and that he was to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt, so Joseph, getting used to these messages by now, woke Mary up and off they went in the dead of night to Egypt where they stayed until God sent another angel to tell Joseph that Herod was dead and it was now safe for them to return to Israel.

Herod was a very evil man and hated to be disobeyed so when the Wise Men didn’t return he ordered that all the baby boys of two years old and under were to be killed.

That wasn’t the last of Joseph’s visits from an angel, when Joseph realised which of Herod’s sons was ruling in Judea he wasn’t too keen on settling there as Archelaus ( the son’s name) had a violent reputation, so God sent the angel again to tell Joseph to go to Galilee and that’s how Jesus came to live in Nazareth.

You can watch a video of the story on this website.

Activities:

What will you put in Jesus’ baby book this week?
What would Mary write about having to go to Egypt in the middle of the night?
Would she be scared?
When Joseph told her about the angel’s message would she remember when the angel visited her and how she had known she could trust God ?
How would she feel about coming back to Israel ?

Young people:

Does this story of Jesus and his family fleeing from Herod remind you of the stories we hear and see on TV of people leaving their countries these days and becoming refugees?
Have you met any refugees, have any come to your school? Have you thought about what it would be like to be a refugee ?
Can you see in this account of Jesus’ early days how God was in control and because the Wise Men and Mary and Joseph were prepared to listen to God through the angel’s messages and prepared to change their plans Jesus was saved from Herod’s evil plans?
Are we prepared to listen to God and change our plans if He tells us to? Are we prepared to get to know God so we can trust Him?

A prayer:

Dear God,
Thank you for your purposes and plans,
You are always present and at work, Even when things seem bad or difficult, Help us to trust in that and to trust in you. We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen.