Pure gold! Wonderful-smelling frankincense and myrrh! What precious gifts the Wise Men had brought. Yes, it had really happened! Wise Men from the east had been in their home. Now, it was all over. The Wise Men were on their way home. These treasures and memories were the only things left to remind Joseph and Mary of that special visit.
The little family was tired from the excitement of the day. They settled down for a good night’s rest.
Joseph awoke suddenly. He rubbed his eyes. Just moments ago an angel had visited Joseph in a dream. The message he gave was urgent. Joseph thought, There is no time to lose! Quickly he lit the oil lamp and shook Mary from her sleep.
“Mary!” he whispered. “An angel came with a message from God. We must leave this city of Bethlehem right away. King Herod is going to try to kill our little Jesus.”
Startled, Mary sat up. Her eyes were filled with fear. “Joseph, what can we do? Where can we go?”
“The angel said we must go to Egypt,” Joseph replied. “We are to stay there until the angel brings us word that it is safe to return.”
Mary quickly folded the covers from the bed and began gathering their few belongings.
Joseph helped her to wrap carefully the gifts that they had received from the Wise Men. He thought of God’s wonderful care. God knew they would need money for the journey and their stay in Egypt. How wonderfully He had provided—even ahead of time!
Walking to the open doorway, he looked out into the still night. Everything was quiet in the streets. No one would see them leave. Joseph did not know what would happen to them on this journey, but he was not afraid. God had always been very near to them.
Mary came to Joseph’s side with the sleeping child in her arms. They were ready to go. Together they walked to the donkey, and Mary once again settled herself on its back. She thought about the journey from Nazareth before Jesus was born.
Joseph gently laid Jesus into Mary’s arms. Like the star guiding the Wise Men, God led the little family until, at last, they reached Egypt.
After they had lived in Egypt for a while, the angel visited them again. This time it was with the good news that it was safe for them to return to Israel. The wicked King Herod had died.
When they reached the land of Israel they went to live in the city of Nazareth. How happy they were to be home once again!
Set up a game with your child to illustrate the importance of listening to God and trusting Him to care for us. Pick out several objects which will stand for danger—a wastebasket, chair, pillow, etc. Blindfold your child and explain that you are going to place these objects at various places around the room. Then you will direct him verbally through the room, helping him not to touch any of the “danger spots.”
Talk about how you had to keep your eyes on him as you gave directions, and liken this to God’s watching over us at all times. Then discuss why it is important for your child to listen and obey.