Overjoyed: The Place of Exile
Exile moments are some of the most difficult seasons of any person’s faith journey. After those blissful encounter moments, it feels like I will always be on top of the world, full of faith, able to overcome any obstacle that comes my way. Yet, within days of such encounters, often one finds exile. Exile is the very opposite of Encounter. The feelings are gone. Faith wanes. Heaven seems so far away. The winds of opposition blow strong. I am alone. That is how we find Mary and Joseph in Egypt. Literally days after the Magi come and worship at their door, they find themselves escaping Bethlehem. Under the cover of night, and taking only the essentials with them, they flee for their lives. Genocide enters their town. When they signed up for this assignment, they did not say, “Yes” to this. This Sunday, we examine the rest of the story. Most Christmas stories end with Bethlehem, but the story does not end there. It goes to Egypt, to exile. So to Egypt we go.