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Summary: The excitement of Christmas is over. Life has almost gotten back to normal. And many people suffer from the Post-Christmas blahs a kind of depression in fact here is a song for this season titled "The Post-Christmas Blues".

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For those not familiar with an Anglican Service there are four Scriptures readings prior to the Message. Today's assigned Scriptures are: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 84; Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19 and Matthew 2:13-23.

Christmas day 2015 ....is over! .... The tree may still be up, .... but it looks mighty empty...... underneath.

Visiting family members.... have left ....to go back home.

The excitement of Christmas.... took weeks to build to a crescendo ... and then ......it was over.

Life .... has almost gotten back ......to normal.

And many people .... suffer from post-Christmas doldrums... a kind of depression .... after all the excitement of Christmas ... in fact here is a song for this season titled... "Post-Christmas Blues".

We spend weeks before Christmas....... preaching about the events ...leading up to ... and including ... the birth .... of Jesus.

We seldom hear a sermon.... about what happened to them .... right after ......that first Christmas. (Pause)

Now some people ......do not consider Joseph ....to be a very important character.... in the Christmas story.

In fact, ... the Scriptures ... do not record anything .... that Joseph ever said.

He is usually .... ignored.

The emphasis at Christmas.... is always on the baby Jesus... Mary, ...the Shepherds, ...and the Wise Men.

But today in our text ... Joseph is the central character.

Joseph & Mary's life .... was going to be turned .... upside down.

Nothing .... Nothing would ever be the same.

Luke simply sums up the next 12 years of Jesus life.... in 2 verses; .... But ... Matthew gives us .... a more detailed.... description.

Our text from Matthew tells us .... that the Wise Men, ...... The Greek Term Is .... MAGOI (MAH-goy) .... which is where we receive the title.... MAGI; .... visited Mary and Joseph ....and presented them .... with their gifts.

When they leave, .... Joseph and Mary go to sleep, ....and Joseph .... has a Dream.

The angel tells Joseph ....in the dream ....to flee to Egypt...... Why? ...because Herod ....is going to try ....to kill their son.

There are several things of interest.... from Matthews account.

(1 Finger) First ... Joseph's Obedience (Matthew 2:14.)

Joseph did not .... waste time.

He did not wait till morning ... he did not wait till next week ......he immediately packed .... that Night ....and headed ....to Egypt.

Immediate Obedience!

In the middle of the night.... God said .... "Move!" (Pause)

Joseph did not argue with God.

Joseph did not ask God for.... Plan B.... for another choice.

He did not wait ....to try to figure it .... "all" out.

He Obeyed...... He Immediately obeyed.

I am convinced ...that is why God chose.... Joseph.

God knew his heart ... that Joseph was sensitive ....to God's will.

(1 Finger) There was Joseph's...immediate obedience. (2 Fingers) The second thing that is apparent in our text is.... God's Provision. (Matthew 2:11)

Beloved, .... When God calls, .... He provides (Repeat) ....... Amen!

God would not have told Mary and Joseph to go to Egypt, ....and then say.... "You're on your own.... Good luck!"

How would Mary, ...Joseph ...and their young child.... survive in a foreign country .... no immediate family .... no immediate source of income?

How.... They have gold, ...They have frankincense ...... they have myrrh.

Gifts of great Value.

A currency .... accepted .... throughout the known world.

Beloved... God will provide ... If ... you walk obediently ... in His will. (Pause)

(1 Finger) Joseph's Obedience (2 Fingers) God's Provision (3 Fingers) and Thirdly .... Herod's Anger .... We need to be aware of Herod's Anger (Matthew 2:13, 2:16)

This is not usually included.... in plays .... about the Christmas story.

We leave .... this part out.

Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus .... are running for their lives ... fleeing .... the country.

Yet many slain children .... are left behind.

It is not part ... of our holiday picture.... is it?

I suppose you could ask.... "If God warned Joseph and Mary about Herod's intention.... why didn't he warn ... those other parents?"

That is a good question, ......and on one level, ...I have no answer.

But remember: ... God always has a bigger plan...... one that we often cannot see ... on this side of eternity.

He preserved his Son.... so that one day .... his Son could die on the cross .... for the sins of the world.

These babies died now, .... the baby Jesus would grow ...... and die later.

Jesus had to escape this time ....so that he would not escape.... the next time.

You might say: .... Jesus escaped the first time ....so that he would not escape ... the second time ....so that we would escape ....... for all time.

Beloved.... In the eyes of the Early Church.... these infants .... came to be regarded ....as the first Christian martyrs.

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