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Dec 22, 2019

Matthew 2:13-15
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, 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.” 14 And he rose and took the Child and His mother by
night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the
Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

“Fear not, then,” said the angel, “let nothing you affright;
This day is born a Savior of a pure virgin bright,
To save all those who trust in Him from Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy!

The hymn that frames our service this morning, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, is one of the most beloved Christmas carols in the English-speaking world. Though the earliest published version is from the mid-1700s, variants and fragments can be found at least two centuries earlier. It is the carol referred to in the title of Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol, though in the story Dickens misquotes it as “God bless you, merry gentlemen.” The poetry refers to the appearance of the heavenly hosts to the shepherds in Luke 2, but I thought that the angel’s words of reassurance were equally appropriate to pair with this week’s sermon text from Matthew. As Joseph is warned in a dream to take his family and flee to Egypt ahead of Herod’s murderous soldiers, a reminder that God’s Son was born “to save us all from Satan’s power” would surely be tidings of comfort and joy. —Henry C. Haffner

Key Words: Angel, Dream, Flee, Egypt, Herod, Spoken, Prophet
Keystone Verse: This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet. (Matthew 2:15) Bulletin & Newsletter