In our modern culture filled with things like twitter, facebook, emails, youtube, internet, and TV, it can difficult for us to imagine having none of those things to help us communicate major events. At the time Jesus was born, they didn’t have any of those forms of communication. Communication between people in different countries could take months via a message brought by a friend. When Herod died, it was safe for the Holy Family to return to Israel. The vicious ruler, who had wanted to kill Jesus, had died. God sent the message to Joseph through the 3rd dream of Joseph. The angel spoke to Joseph and told Joseph it was safe to return because the one who wanted to kill Jesus had died.
Joseph brought Mary and Jesus back to Israel, but after hearing it was Herod’s terrible son Archelaus who reigned in Judea, Joseph took the family to Nazareth. Even in this small detail an ancient prophecy was fulfilled about Jesus being called a Nazarene.
God spoke to Joseph in three dreams that we have recorded. In those dreams God gave Joseph assurance and guidance and revealed to Joseph God’s plan. Joseph followed through on God’s guidance and did what he was told to do.
When I reflect on Joseph’s part of the Christmas events, I wonder if I listen to God enough. Do we in the modern world rely so much on our technology that we do not listen to God? Do we get so busy that we do not make time for God? I remember an older gentleman at my church and what he asked a pastor who was excited about new technology at the church office. he asked him “does it pray for you?” I am not against modern technology at all. I use it all of the time. I am simply pondering whether we listen to God like Joseph did or do we try to keep God in a box and limit God’s influence in our lives. My desire is to reconnect with God this Christmas Season and take time to reflect on the people and events of the first Christmas.