Jesus, the Refugee

December 31, 2016

Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:13-23

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.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’ –Matthew 2:13-15

Because of the plight of the millions of refugees around the world today, many recalled this Christmas season the fact that Jesus was a refugee baby with his parents escaping the wrath of Herod as they fled to Egypt. We see pictures of rescuers pulling children from their bombed-out homes and thank God that at least that one survived. People respond to the plight of individuals they encounter more quickly than to statistics and long-range projections. Non-profit fundraisers recognize this reality as they make their year end pitches.

I am not suggesting it is a bad thing to focus on one example of a larger problem. Indeed, quite the opposite, I believe our advocacy can only stem from real life experiences and encourage everyone to volunteer some time with the homeless, the mentally ill, prisoners, children trying to learn while hungry and who lack proper clothing for the weather, homebound elderly and disabled persons, and yes refugees. When we see the magnitude of the problem, we see the importance of intervention at all levels.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door. ― Emma Lazarus

Prayer: Creator and Sustainer of all, open our eyes and ears to the reality of your children who do not have enough, who are not safe, who are not self-sufficient and open our hearts to foster solutions to actualize all your children’s fullest potential. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights