Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, 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.” – Matthew 2:13
If Mary, Joseph, and the baby showed up at your door and asked for help as they hid from Herod, what would you do? Would you risk your own safety to help them?
We talk at length about all of the ways that a life of faith is not necessarily an easy one that makes life easier and free of pain or difficulty. A great many times, in fact, the opposite is true. A life of faith can be painful, arduous, draining, and sometimes, risky.
To be a voice for the voiceless and an advocate for justice as Jesus calls us to be is not something that comes without risk. Any time we stand for something we run the risk of being misunderstood or losing friends or family members because ideologies and feelings run deep and not always in harmony.
This is precisely why Jesus said he didn’t come to bring peace to the world but a sword that would set even the closest of people apart. Sometimes, standing for what is right puts a great many things at risk; sometimes even our own physical safety.
The choice then rests with each of us as to how much risk we want to expose ourselves to. The inherent risk in that, though, is that we can decide to remain silent and apathetic in order to keep ourselves what we think of as “safe.” Yet, when that happens, are we not complicit in enabling the darkness to overcome the light because our own fear gets in our way?
Jesus was many things, a person of great courage among them. As disciples, we are called upon to embody his courage as our own and dare to be his voice in a world that profoundly needs to hear it.
Will we risk it?
God of Hope, grant us the courage to be your spirit in the world, even what makes us uncomfortable. Stretch us and embolden us.