Thought for The Day – Monday 4th January

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 2: 19 – 23

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Luke 2: 39 – 40

Jesus’s birth was filled with drama. Angelic appearances, a borrowed stable, Magi from the East, and time spent as refugees. But his life would settle down as the family returned to Nazareth. We have almost no records of Jesus’s life between his birth and the beginning of his public ministry aged 30, save for one story. And so over the years many people have speculated about what happened in that time. There are some theories that have him going to India or Tibet and even a tradition that he made it all the way to Blighty! (“And did those feet in ancient time, Walk upon England’s mountains green?”)

But these theories are all rather farfetched. In reality he probably led a normal life in Nazareth. He grew up, learned to walk, talk and read, was taught the Torah and initiated into the Jewish faith. He led the life of a normal Jewish boy growing up in Galilee. But this is far more exciting than the out-there theories, because it means that God came to Earth and lived a life not unlike ours. God chose to experience all the joy, sorrow, boredom and wonder of an ordinary human existence. God chose to be like us and understand us, so that he could be close to us.

Prayer: Brother Jesus, thank you that you chose to live like us and share in the human experience. I know that whatever I am going through I can bring it to you and know that you will understand me.

Action: Take some time to appreciate something everyday and ordinary. It may not seem like much, but it was the everyday that God chose when Jesus came to live  among us.

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