Word of the Month

To flee

December 1999

In his gospel, the Apostle Matthew did not only describe the joy that reigned in heaven and on earth as a result of the birth of Jesus, the saviour and redeemer, but also that the life of the newborn child was in the gravest of danger. King Herod, who had been informed about the birth of a new King by the three wise men from the east, feared for his throne and therefore ordered all children in Bethlehem, two years old and under, to be put to death. However, the Angel appeared to Joseph and told him to flee to Egypt together with his family:hardly had he entered this world and Jesus was already forced to flee to escape the spirit of murder and to save his life (cf. Matthew 2).

From this aspect of the Christmas story, a question can be redirected to us as children of God: from what must we flee, in order to save our eternal life? Also this life is menaced by danger! Then as now, the evil one makes every effort to hinder the reconciliation of man with God, that was made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

First of all, it is important to flee from sin. Sin lurks everywhere; there is so much that separates man from God. Therefore we must flee from sin into grace! Our heavenly Father always offers us grace anew. When we flee into his arms, danger is banished, because there we find security.

Let us also take to flight when depression wants to overcome us. Depression robs us of our joy in the Lord, which is our strength. Apostle Paul wrote: "and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice" (Phillipians 1:18). It all depends on this: we must make an effort, if we want to flee out of depression into the joy of the Lord and his work.

Whoever wants to save his eternal life must also flee from doubt. So many things are called into question today! Much of what we believe is unproven, which is why we believe in the first place. How beautiful it is, when we can so frequently experience our faith. This gives us trust in the activity of God's grace, imparts confidence and gives us renewed strength to flee from doubt and unbelief.

It is also important to flee from conflict. There are a thousand causes for friction, quarrels and altercations, right up to enmity. Let us give conflict a wide berth; let us flee into peace, that is always bestowed anew upon us when we turn to God and his grace.

Hardly had he entered into this world, and Jesus already had to flee to save his life. We too, as reborn souls, find ourselves in flight from everything that separates from God. Let us save our eternal life by fleeing to the Lord and to his altar.

I wish you all a peaceful and blessed Advent and Christmas.

With heartfelt greetings,<br/>

Richard Fehr