“Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod.” Matthew 2:14-15a
Any parent would easily understand most of what is meant in the two verses (above). Adding a baby to the family changes everything! Mary and Joseph might have been expecting things like getting less sleep, inopportune feeding times and the need for frequent diaper changes but a relocation to Egypt was probably not in their original plans. But for the sake of life and safety of Jesus, it was necessary and they did it.
This aspect of the Christmas story is an especially appropriate one for some of the Victory family as we start the New Year. In a sense, Victory is welcoming a new baby into our church family. That new baby is the Crismon campus! This new ministry is set to begin regular Sunday worship at Crismon & University starting on January 8, 11am. After exploring all the options we could think of, we have decided that the health and well-being of this new “baby” would be best served if we moved our current 10:45am service at Victory to an 11am start time at Crismon. The distance isn’t nearly as far as the journey for Bethlehem to Egypt but it does ask a great deal of those who had grown comfortable with the worship time and quality of our 10:45am service. By moving our excellent praise team, focusing on consistent quality preaching and adding most or all of our current 10:45am worshipers, we greatly increase the odds of a successful launch of this new ministry. Plus we are hoping that with 50 or more people from Victory who are willing to serve as unofficial hosts and hostesses for these early services, we can provide a warm welcome and have a powerful impact on the families who might “try out” this new ministry site because of their connection to the charter school that is housed on this campus and others in the neighborhood who are without a church home.
If you read on in the Christmas story as recorded in Matthews Gospel, you will be reminded that the journey to Egypt was only for a short time. After the threat to Jesus from Herod had ended with Herod’s death, the holy family journeyed back to Nazareth. We envision that also happening here at Victory. When we are able to provide this new congregation with its own pastor and local leadership is ready to “step up.” We envision welcoming our exiles back home. In the meantime we plan to offer more fellowship opportunities in the Fellowship Hall and upgrade the sound system to better serve classes and programs. Thanks to all who will be asked to adapt to care for this new baby!
Pastor Larry Kassebaum