TEXT: Matthew 2:12-23
IT was night, late at night. Baby Jesus was sleeping all snug and warm. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was sleeping, too, and so was Joseph. God was Jesus’ heavenly Father. Jesus came from Heaven to earth as a little Baby but He was God’s own Son. Joseph was Jesus’ earthly daddy.
When all the family was asleep, Joseph had a dream. A dream is when you think or see something in your sleep. Joseph saw an Angel. God sent that Angel to talk to Joseph. “Get up, Joseph, get up,” said the Angel. “Take Baby Jesus away — far away to the land of Egypt. He will be safe from the mean king that wants to kill Jesus.”
This mean, bad king was the same one who had asked the wise men to find out where Jesus was when He was born and then to come back and tell him where to find the Baby. King Herod said he wanted to go and see the Baby and take Him some presents, too. But he just wanted to hurt Baby Jesus because He knew God sent Jesus from Heaven to be a King, and Herod was afraid Jesus would be King in his place. King Herod did not love God.
Joseph woke up right away. “Mary, Mary,” he said, softly, “an Angel has talked to me in a dream and we must hurry away from here. That mean, bad King Herod wants to hurt our Baby Jesus. We must get up right now and hurry far away into the land of Egypt so that they cannot find us. Baby Jesus will be safe there.”
Mary got up out of bed and dressed quickly. She packed the baby things for Baby Jesus. She took some clothes for herself and Joseph, too. She must have made some bundles of food; probably there were no stores along the way.
After awhile Joseph brought the little donkey to the house. He tied on the bundles so the donkey could carry them for him Now they were all ready to go, so Mary wrapped Baby Jesus up in a little, soft, warm blanket and held Him in her arms. Mary sat on the little donkey’s back and off they went with Joseph leading the donkey down the dark streets and out of the city.
The stars were shining. It was dark and still. Everyone slept in the little city as Mary and Joseph ‘and Baby Jesus walked along. Clip-clop, clip-clop went the little donkey’s feet. Step, step, step, quietly walked Joseph leading the donkey.
It was a long, long way to Egypt, the country where they were going. They had to walk all the way. Everyone walked in those days. They must have met many people on the way but no one found out that Mary’s Baby was Baby Jesus.
After a long time Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus reached their new home. They felt so safe and happy there. Baby Jesus grew bigger and stronger every day. Oh, how Mary loved her little Boy, just like your mother loves you. Joseph was happy because Jesus was such a good Baby Boy. Joseph was glad he had listened to the Angel that night. He was glad that God could see what that mean king was going to do and had taken care of little Jesus. It always pays to mind God.
Then one day God told Joseph something else. God sent another Angel to Joseph in the night. “You may take Mary and little Jesus and go back to your home now,” said the Angel. “That mean, bad king who wanted to hurt little Jesus is not alive any more. Now Jesus will be safe. No one will want to hurt Him.”
How happy Mary and Joseph were to pack their clothes and some water and food and get ready to go back home again. Now Mary, Joseph, and little Jesus started out again to go that long, long, long road they had traveled once before.
Days and days and days went by. After a while they reached their old home where they had lived before. How happy all the neighbors must have been to see them and how happy they were to be home again! The neighbors and friends were glad to see Baby Jesus, too.
Joseph went to work in his carpenter shop again. Mary did her housework and cooked and washed and took care of Joseph and Jesus.
God was watching and taking care of Baby Jesus all the time. He watches and takes care of you, too. God gives us water to drink and food to eat. If God did not love us so much He would never have sent Jesus from Heaven to live on earth for a while, just like little boys and girls live today. Jesus knows all about little boys and girls because He was a child one time, too. Mary and Joseph thanked God for helping them keep Baby Jesus safe from the mean King Herod.