So, the life of the baby Jesus, son of God and Savior of the world, is threatened, and God speaks to Joseph in a dream telling him to take the baby to safety. Really? Does this seem a little risky to anyone else? To trust the life of Jesus to the faithful interpretation and follow through of a dream by a common man. What if Joseph had doubted the vision? What if he had waited too long to take action? What if he had decided that it just wasn’t worth picking up and moving to another country? What if…
It never ceases to amaze me how much responsibility God places in the hands of us, his human creation. One of the greatest responsibilities is the raising, protecting, education, and nurture of children. It is a heavy responsibility for every parent, but also for every member of the church. Each time a child is baptized, we as a congregation make a promise to God to care for that child. God may or may not appear to you in a dream to give you special direction, but God is expecting that you are in tune to God’s voice and direction in how you can contribute to the raising of the children entrusted to us.
What is at stake? Consider all the children who suffered under Herod’s wrath, who were not protected. What we know of God tells us that God loved these children, too. I can’t help but wonder whether there was someone else to whom God spoke, who received direction that could have protected the children, and who, whether out of fear, disbelief, or apathy, did not follow through. What could have been different?
Let’s not take our responsibility lightly. God expects more of us.