2 Christmas – Year C

Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 84 or 84:1-8; Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” – Mark Twain

Sometimes New Testament scholars use the term “typology,” meaning the technique of describing New Testament figures in terms of Old Testament characters. Joseph, in the book of Genesis, is a type-model for Joseph, Mary’s husband, because God communicates to him in dreams. Moses is a type-model for Jesus because he comes out of Egypt and gives God’s law to the people. Jesus in turn in today’s story comes back out of Egypt and subsequently has his sermon on his own mount and gives the people the new law of love. Pharaoh is a type-model for Herod because he tried to stifle the whole liberation process. So, who do we choose as our own personal type-model? Are we Pharaoh/Herod concerned about our own arrogant power and prestige no matter who we destroy in our effort to stay on top? Then what do we do with all the bodies, our emotional detritus? Even if we manage to hide all the bodies, we have then denied ourselves and are lost. Are we Joseph/Joseph, people of dreams leading others to safety? Then, even though we speak little, we take people across the river to freedom. Are we Moses/Jesus coming out of Egypt, coming out of darkness, out of slavery, out of the chains others put on us, with no denial of who we are, so that we in turn can take people across the river?


Matthew 2:13, and elsewhere, has the word “child” referring to Jesus. The word used here in Greek in neuter, neither masculine nor feminine. Interesting. It’s like where’s the kid? “It’s” over there.

Matthew 2:15 talks about Herod’s death. The usual Greek word for death is not used here. The word used actually means “end.” The passage is talking about the “end” of Herod. That sounds even more terminal than “death,” if that’s possible.


How do I cross the

river of my dark full pain?

How Egypt escape?