This time escape,
to a strange land.
Peace at last?
This modern sculpture is behind the choir in Beverly Minster. For something made of such hard static materials like metal and glass it conveys such movement and haste. The figures appear to be looking back as they hurry ever onward. The area is dedicated to pilgrimage and it isn’t actually of Mary and Joseph, but as soon as I saw it the Flight to Egypt jumped straight into my mind so that is why I am posting it today.
Now after they (the Magi) had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’
I was going to write – today it is more likely that Christ would flee from Egypt, the Christians in that country have been suffering in countless ways because of their faith – however, that I don’t think that would be true.
Yes Mary and Joseph might have been less inclined to take a new born babe to Egypt, out of one danger straight into another, but Christ came to free the oppressed, to bring comfort and peace. Not only would Christ have gone he is there now, offering light in the dark places, offering hope where despair tries to triumph, offering life even in the midst of death. So today as we remember the flight to Egypt remember the people of Egypt, the people whose ancestors offered a place of safety for the Holy Family, the people whose descendants are now suffering even becoming refugees themselves. Emmaunel, God be with them and may that land that offered safety so long ago be a place of safety once more.