Oh I know I posted the flight to Egypt yesterday, but of course the Magi didn’t turn up 12 days after Christ’s birth, we just remember it then and the flight to Egypt happened after that visit. Of course the timeline is even more mixed up with the commemoration of the Massacre of the Innocents having already taken place before Herod has even realised the Magi aren’t coming back to tell him where this new King of Israel is.
This detail is taken from the Nativity window in Kilbrandon Church designed by Douglas Strachan. The season might have moved on for us but for Mary and Joseph they were still getting used to a new life in theirs. I wonder if during those 2 am feeds Mary pondered all the extraordinary events that had happened. Rough shepherds visiting and being gentle and kind so unlike their reputation, they had been visited by angels too, just like Joseph and she. Just what were they going to do with that lamb, how would they get it back to Nazareth? Would they stay in Bethlehem until she had to go to the Temple for purification? What would the welcome be like in Nazareth when she returned complete with child?
The season has turned, we are now in Epiphany, but for Mary and Joseph it is still Christmas, they are still getting used to this new gift from God. Until they have visited the Temple and given thank offerings for this birth; this child cannot fulfill his destiny for he came to fulfill not destroy. So despite the angels and shepherds, it is important that all rites are properly observed, that no one can later on deny he is a Jew.
So the Holy Family remains with us until Candlemas for it is only then that the 40 days are over, only then when Simeon lifts the Babe of Bethelehem high …. but I am jumping the gun and after going on about it to others in Advent I mustn’t fall foul to the same temptation in Epiphany and rush the seasons.