Meet Yusuf, who is from a Middle Eastern nation. He has taken his young family on a dangerous journey across deserts and seas, fleeing their homeland in hope of finding refuge from violence. He and his family are refugees, and although his new wife, Miriam, is no stranger to travel, they just had a baby boy, Isa, which makes the dangerous journey even more terrifying. The nation they have fled to views them as dangerous to their stability and sovereignty.
Thousands like Yusuf and his family arrive in Europe every day, but the question of the hour is: Should they even be coming? Should we be helping them?
What about you? If it were your homeland, would you welcome this refugee family?
What if we told you that this was Jesus' (Isa's) story, That Yusuf (Joseph) and his wife, Mary (Miriam) were refugees who had to flee from Israel to find
refuge in a strange land. According to Matthew 2, Mary and Joseph made the choice to flee their hometown to save their baby boy from Herod’s blood-thirst.
Our entire Christian faith is held up by Egypt welcoming a displaced family escaping violence from a government leader of their own religion. How familiar
does this sound to the refugee situation in Europe?
After the wise men left (being warned not to return to Herod), an angel visited Joseph telling him to take his family and escape to Egypt. Herod's hunger for power and fear of losing it drove him to kill all of the male babies under the age of two. A kingdom that kills its children is as dark as it comes.
It is no accident that the Lord chose to come to earth in the most helpless form of an infant, it is no accident that He also became a foreigner reliant
on the mercy of others. The Lord speaks loudly in the ways He takes on earth.
Heaven asked, “Who will welcome this child?” The dirty shepherds did. A country with a sore history with Yahweh did. The prostitutes and the tax collectors did. Will we rise to the faithfulness of these?
This refugee situation gives a new depth of meaning to Jesus saying, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). As we remember the Holy heritage we come from this Christmas, how will we let Christ’s coming shape how we interact with the world we face? One with refugees fleeing blood-thirst and darkness. Will we accept and deal kindly with the helpless, the foreigners? And in doing so, act out the Gospel-story with our lives for the glory of Jesus and the salvation of those we welcome.