Mothers of the Bible — Mary, the Mother of Jesus (Part 10)

01 May

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, because those who intended to kill the child are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother, and entered the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee. Then he went and settled in a town called Nazareth to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
Matthew 2:19-23

Dear God, was this the dream Mary had been waiting for? Was she excited about going home or nervous? Probably both. I’m sure she was glad to get back to Israel but nervous that 1.) she would have to reckon with family and friends who might judge for her having a child older than her marriage and 2.) being back in the land where her son might be in danger. But still, she was going home.

I remember back in 2005 when we were trying to decide what to do about my work. The kids were nine and six years old, and we lived in Waco, Texas. I was up for jobs in Waco, Tyler, and Grand Rapids. I really wanted that Grand Rapids job. I remember wondering at the time what each path held for my children. What friends would they have in each city? Church experience? In some ways, I thought more about them than I thought about myself–at least, that’s how I remember it. How would this impact them? As it turned out, our path surprisingly saw us move closer to both my wife’s and my families of origin. I went from being almost 200 miles from my parents to 45 miles, and my wife when from being a difficult 100 miles to an easier 80 miles. But even with the benefit of hindsight, I couldn’t tell you if this was the right path for our children or not. Fifteen years later, it seems to have been the right path for me. I guess what I’ve done is come to a place where I have simply turned their paths over to you and trusted that you are leading them exactly where you need them to be regardless of whether or not I can see your plan with my own eyes.

Father, I’m sure there was a lot on Mary’s mind as they traveled back to Israel. At least, I suppose, they got some specific instructions from the angel on where to go. I hope that was a comfort to her and Joseph. I’m grateful for how you’ve comforted me over the years too. Parenting is hard, and worrying about your children is hard. But being in your presence brings me peace. Thank you for your presence.

In Jesus’s name I pray,


1 Comment

Posted by on May 1, 2020 in Matthew, Mothers of the Bible


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One response to “Mothers of the Bible — Mary, the Mother of Jesus (Part 10)

  1. Pam Cotten

    May 2, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    John, God surely must have had Fredericksburg and Gillespie County in His plan for you and Megan. You’re both clearly being being His hands and feet throughout the area. And knowing that none of God’s plans are incomplete, He must have factored both children into this plan for your whole family. I remember when my family moved from Waco in 1958, I thought the world had come to an end. (At age 13….. of course I would have that perspective.) It was my father’s plan for us to leave Waco, and I imagine my mother had some doubts about the impact on their children. But reviewing the past 62 years since that move, it’s so clear that it had been God’s plan for all of us kids too. I enjoy contemplating that this morning.


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