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: 22 – 23
As we’ve seen over the past few days, Jesus’s early life was full of turmoil. His family had to flee for their lives and live as refugees in Egypt. And when they returned, thinking that things were safe, they discovered that the new King was as bad as the old. So Joseph, Mary and Jesus moved north to Nazareth, a small town in the quiet rural province of Galilee and made their home there. It was there, far from the Jesus finally had some stability, a safe place to grow and learn. We don’t get to hear anything about Jesus’s childhood in Matthew’s Gospel, but we know that for almost 30 years Nazareth was his home, and it was there that he grew into the man we read so much about later.
After food and water, shelter is one of our most basic needs. Our homes provide us shelter, but also much more. A good home can be a place of comfort and rest, a place to belong where we can be ourselves, a place we cherish. A bad home on the other hand can be a place of insecurity and uncertainty, where we worry about the future or have to hide our true selves, a place we resent. We are all having to spend a lot more time in our homes. For many of us this is an easy task because we live in good homes, but we remember in our prayers all the people living in bad homes, for whom this is a difficult time
Prayer: Lord thank you for my home that gives me shelter. I thank you for all the things about my home that bring me joy, and I pray for help with all the things about my home that I struggle with. Help me to create a space where I feel safe, protected and free.
Action: Take some time today to invest in your home. It could be tidying up, rearranging the furniture or buying a plant. Make it a space that you want to spend time in.