Throughout the world an unprecedented number of people have fled for their lives, seeking a place of safe harbor for themselves and their families. Many are now living in a foreign land, dependent on the goodness of strangers.
This mass movement of people reminds us as Christians that our Bible is full of stories about people who migrated. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Naomi, David, Jeremiah form just a few prominent examples of displacement. Add the family of Jesus to the list. Remember? They fled to Egypt for safety from Herod’s attempt to kill the infant Jesus.
Someone in Egypt opened their hearts to the family of Jesus, and Jesus Himself. They provided sustenance and opportunity for them to stay safe, to stay alive. We can do no less for those who are now in a desperate flight for safety.
We remember that Jesus Himself, in the last days of His ministry, said, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me” (Matthew 25-35-36).
I’m confident that part of the stories Jesus heard as a boy were from his parents who told Him of the kindness of people who took care of them in Egypt. He may also have heard some stories of people who discriminated against the family.
At this Christmas season, let’s remember the Word teaches us that “he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each of us” (Acts 17:26-27). This movement of people has not surprised the Holy Spirit.
May the Holy Spirit help us to open our hearts, hands, our time and finances to minister the care and love of Jesus to people who are in such desperate need at this Christmas season.