(Click the verse above to see the entire reading)
“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;”
“Be it Resolved”
Happy New Year!
Today’s text is not what you’re expecting is it?
Despite most of us clearing the decorations away and putting the trees by the garbage, in the church, it’s still Christmas.
So one might expect to hear another warm, cozy story of the manger or the Holy Family this week.
Instead we hear an angry violent text, full of hatred and fear and darkness.
This is a hard text to read.
But it might be even more important this year than most.
Jesus and his family, under threat of death by the local government, flee their home to Egypt.
Do you know what word in the dictionary is defined as: “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster”?
There’s a sonnet I read yesterday, by poet Malcolm Guite, called “Refugee” about the Christ-child and his family.
We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
Or cozy in a crib beside the font,
But he is with a million displaced people
On the long road of weariness and want.
For even as we sing our final carol
His family is up and on that road,
Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,
Glancing behind and shouldering their load.
Jesus, the Son of God, and his parents, the Holy Family – they were refugees.
NO matter how hard this text might be to hear on this day, it’s important. So important.
It’s a reminder that taking care of those in need isn’t a political issue, but it is a faith one.
Christ has shown us today where he is, and he is with the refugees, because he IS one.
And that is where we’ll find him.
Questions for Discussion:
At the end of worship, cards were handed out with organizations doing amazing work for Syrian Refugees in Aleppo and around the world.
Here they are:
* Lutheran World Relief: www.lwr.org
* Pre-Emptive Love: www.preemptivelove.org
* White Helmets: www.whitehelmets.org
* Doctors Without Borders: www.doctorswithoutborders.org
* Save the Children: www.savethechildren.org
* Together Rising: www.togetherrising.org
Jesus has shown us where we should be looking and serving and loving.