The New Testament teaches us that following the Birth of Jesus, Herod wanted to "destroy" the Child. Directed by an angel, Joseph took Mary and Jesus and left Israel, seeking refuge in Egypt. Once again we realize the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy when in Hosea 11:1 we read: "Out of Egypt I called My Son." In this passage the Son of God is Israel and Jesus is the true Israel. He reenacts in His own life the history of Israel, without falling into sin. The icon depicting this event in the life of our Lord reminds us that we must always preserve our precious faith in Him.
Christian Orthodox Stewardship is our opportunity to support the sacred mission of our Church. The Church is not a single parish, but the local Diocese, the Archdiocese, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the National Ministries we are developing. It is our privilege to preserve the Faith with the giving of our Time, Talents, and Treasure.
The safe flight of our Lord into Egypt occurred in the midst of terrible sacrifice. Herod was furious when he realized that the Magi had not returned to tell him where the newborn King might be found. In retaliation he ordered that all the male children in the area of Bethlehem, two years old or under, be killed. We remember the 14,000 children slain by Herod and acknowledge the sacrifice of their families to protect the Christ Child.
We may not face such terrible threats today for our children, but there is a concern we must have for their upbringing. Our young people are exposed to so many competing influences that they need a stable and supportive family and Church. It is in the Church that we establish and sustain the ministries that teach the family to be faithful to Christ.
The support you offer to your local parish enables the National Ministries of our Church in America to serve you! A few of the ways that the National Ministries serve you is by: preparing priests for tomorrow; developing Orthodox ministries on the Internet; preparing educational videos for the Church; supporting the Youth Office in each Diocese; and maintaining the Ionian Village camping program.
See: Matthew 2:13-15
To learn more, visit the Department of Stewardship.