Monday, December 14, 2015

Refugees at Christmas

Christmas is near. It's ironic that a refugee crisis is so much in the news when at Christmas we celebrate Jewish refugees. Joseph and a very pregnant Mary were on the road trekking to their hometown because of a governor's executive order. We are not fond of governmental executive orders today. Joseph and Mary had no choice but to join thousand of their countrymen and women on the road. Nine months pregnant or not. Jesus was born in whatever last minute accommodations Joseph could arrange. Including a midwife, I presume. Once they got the government business of registering for taxes out of the way (that would go over big today, too), they headed home again. Only to be warned by a messenger from God himself to flee the homeland because they were the target of a government terror plot. Seeking refuge in Egypt, they were allowed over the border and set up housekeeping there until the terror had passed. Jesus had safely missed the massacre of all the children his age in his village. Fortunately, he and his family had some place which would let them in. The situation is much different today.

This past Sunday we heard and saw pictures of a mission in Uganda to refugee women fleeing violence in other parts of Africa. Our church supports it, Amani Sasa, which gives battered and traumatized women a safe place to live and learn a trade to support themselves. Many people in our church give money to Amani Sasa at this time of year instead of spending it on a bunch of presents.

The mood in our country right now is not very pro refugee. In fact, the shrillest voices are the most inhospitable. Which sounds badly off-key in this season of giving and hospitality.

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