I wonder if you’ve ever thought much about Jesus’ earthly family. We’re probably all aware of Mary and Joseph, but the rest of the family don’t really get a look in the Christmas story, or anywhere actually. There’s mentions of brothers elsewhere in the Gospels that not all Christians manage to agree on, but that’s about it.
We don’t even have much about the holy family past Jesus’ birth and before his 30s. Just a story about Jesus when he was 12 recorded only in Luke. But we do know that this little family endured huge journeys in their life together, incredibly dangerous upheavals for anyone, let alone new parents with a young child.
Our Nativity stories start with that well known journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a long and probably uncomfortable journey for Mary and Joseph. But the birth narratives end with a journey too, a far more panicked and dangerous one. Mary , Joseph and the child Jesus flee Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus before he ever had a chance to say or do anything revolutionary. Time is spent away, in safety in Egypt. But they don’t stay there for ever.
By the time Jesus’ public ministry begins the family are back in Nazareth, so at some point, somewhere along the way, there must have been a home coming. The little family, although they definitely weren’t teddy bears travelling on a plane, came home to their wider family. I wonder what that home coming looked like.
This Christmas as we travel our own festive journeys, whether they be across the world, or just round the corner, and s we spend even just a little bit of time with people we love, perhaps we could choose to remember that little holy family and those first dangerous Christmas journeys.