Scripture: Matthew 2: 13-23
Equipment: Sand bag, Two boxes, Holy Family from a Nativity Set, Angel from Nativity Set
Welcome. Are you ready for a story?
Long ago, in a far off land, (spread sand)
God reached down from heaven and became one of us.
Mighty, All-Powerful God could have come in any shape or form he wanted, he could have impressed us with his power, but he loved us so much, he came as… a tiny baby.
(place Jesus in centre of sand)
Born of his Mother, Our Lady Mary… (place Mary)
To be brought up and supported by Joseph… (place Joseph)
God poured his almighty self into this little form, to be with us, alongside us. God-in-a-child.
The King of the Universe was born in poor surroundings and with no comforts that befitted a King. In a Stable, for animals … and all their dirty, smelly mess.
The King of that land, a man called King Herod had heard that somewhere in his land a King had been born, a great King, an all-powerful King… and he was afraid.
King Herod couldn’t bear the thought of being replaced by a King who rightfully should be on his throne, so he sought to catch and kill this threat before it became a problem.
(remove Holy Family, place box at one corner, walk fingers all over the sand)
He sent his guards all across his land to find and kill the new King who might take his place.
(place Holy Family on top of box)
One night, as Mary and Joseph and the baby were asleep, and angel (place Angel on box) appeared to Joseph in a dream.
He warned Joseph that Herod sought to kill the God-in-a-child and that they should run for their lives, to another country.
(place box in opposite corner)
So, Our Lady, and Joseph took God-in-a-child and in the middle of the night, they ran away to be safe in a land called Egypt (meander the Holy Family through the desert). It was a long, scary, dangerous journey until at last they came to the land of Egypt where they could be safe.
They had to live and wait in Egypt until Herod was no longer King and they had to life as refugees for a number of years before Herod died.
(place Holy Family on other box)
Meanwhile, the guards did some horrible things to any child under the age of two, and killed all of the innocent babies just in case they might be the God-in-a-child who threatened Herod’s job. The tears of the Mothers must have fallen on the land like rain
(fingertip pats on the sand)
When Herod died, the Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream once more. (place Angel)
He told them that it was safe to return, and so Mary, and Joseph and God-in-a-child made the long journey back from the land of Egypt to a place called Nazareth, where God-in-a-child grew big and strong and faithful to God and where everyone called him by his name:
From Nazareth. Out of Egypt.
I wonder how Herod felt to hear that a real King was born.
I wonder what it felt like to leave in the middle of the night and go to a far-off place…
I wonder how it might have felt in Egypt,
I wonder how people feel today when they have to leave their homelands for fear of their lives.
I wonder what we might do, if Mary and Joseph and God-in-a… and Jesus came to our door needing our help.