Friday, July 17, 2009

The Flight to Egypt

To avoid the massacre of the innocents, the Gospels tell us that Joseph, Mary and Jesus nipped off into Egypt for a while then returned to Nazareth by another way, suggested by an angel.
Having just returned from the Sinai one is tempted to say: WHAT?!
Walking twenty paces from our air-conditioned room to the pool was hellish. A full-blown journey across Sinai must have been dreadful. The Sinai peninsula is like the moon. The daytime heat was astonishing. Nothing grows there. Everything dies there.
I think we can learn several things from the Gospel story.
Firstly, God is not a great planner. Putting his infant son in danger by (a) allowing the massacre of the innocents and (b) having Joe and Mary trudge across Sinai was not the hallmark of a forward thinker. Secondly, angels; surely they have more power than to act like a biblical Give them a hand for God's sake! She's just had a baby!
Thirdly, and I think most importantly, we should seriously consider canonising their donkey. That poor little beast took them all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem, then to Egypt, then back home again (by a different route). Awesome.
St Donkey, patron saint of SatNav.

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