The Christmas story is a message of hope. Hope was born in a stable in Bethlehem and placed in a manger. The shepherds heard about this Hope from the angels:
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The shepherds found Hope.
The wise men followed a star and found Hope.
“We saw his star in the East and have come to worship him.”
But Hope had an enemy:
“…Herod gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were 2 years old and under…”
King Herod wanted to destroy Hope and anything that looked like Hope. He wanted to keep control of his kingdom and kill anyone that might one day usurp his power.
But Hope also had a protector:
“An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, ‘Get up’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’
Hope had to be protected until its enemy was no more:
“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.’”
Sometimes people without Hope need a protector. They need someone to protect them from the Herods in their lives until they have grown stronger and the threat is gone. What is a Herod? A Herod is something that is out to destroy Hope and anything that resembles it. Herods can be addictions, abuse, poverty, homelessness, and the trafficking of women and children. Herods especially want to prey on the young, weak, and defenseless. Herods can be relentless in their pursuit to stay in control of their kingdoms.
In order to escape these Herods, people need an Egypt to flee to. What is an Egypt? An Egypt is a place of protection and refuge. Egypts can be shelters for the homeless or shelters for women and children escaping abusive situations. These can be foster homes, orphanages for children, and drug rehab centers.
King Herod probably thought that he had destroyed Hope when it was young. He had no way to know that Hope survived. He had no way to know that Hope would change so many lives in such a short amount of time. Nor did he know that Hope would be put on a cross and then in a tomb. Hope appeared to be gone forever. But Hope rose again on the third day and the world will never be the same. The world will never be without Hope.
Heb 6:19 – …which HOPE we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast