Saturday, October 13, 2012

Out of Egypt

The USPS has unveiled their Christmas stamp for 2012:

This is a change from the traditional stamp depicting the Madonna and Child that has been used for almost 60 years. A member of the Postal Service Board of Governors stated, "The primary reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ." 

The Postal Service chose a dramatic rendering from the Matthew 2:13 - 15--- 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

This started me thinking of one of my favorite Advent paintings:

It's called "Rest on the Flight to Egypt" by Luc-Oliver Merson. 
Spend a few moments just looking...can you not feel the exhaustion? Joseph sleeping on the desert floor while Mary cradles the Child. Traveling through the desert is not easy even in the best of times...but knowing that death could be following close on your heels adds mental fatigue as well.

Notice that the Christ Child is the only source of light in the painting. He was homeless from birth. He was a refugee, an immigrant, a stranger in a strange land.

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