Jesus Was A Refugee

Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Matthew 2:13-15 – Now when they had gone, behold, 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 going to search for the Child to destroy Him." So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called My Son." (NASB 1995)

    Refugees — the same today,
    all yearning for new life,
    leaving countries so war-torn,
    escaping from the strife.

    Refugees — we welcome them
    as they begin anew.
    We show hospitality
    and love in what we do.

           – John Wesley Oldham

World Refugee Day, declared by the United Nations to be marked on June 20, is a call for communities around the world to work toward peace and security for all, remembering especially the millions of people who are displaced or forcibly uprooted from their homes. This year, in particular, we remember those in Gaza and throughout Palestine, the very land from which Jesus had to flee. Jesus Himself began life as a refugee Who escaped with His family from the violence of King Herod to the unfamiliar landscape of Egypt. We sometimes forget that no one is a refugee by choice, and as the church of Jesus Christ, it is part of our mandate to reach out to refugees, to pray for their welfare, and to seek solutions to the conditions that create the refugee crisis in the first place. So many of our churches have made the support of refugees a prime ministry and mission. I still celebrate those efforts by my former church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and the work that my wife was able to do with churches in nearby Dartmouth. We give thanks for their commitment and dedication! We are grateful for the open doors that our country makes possible for people who are experiencing war, the effects of climate change, and the turmoil that is found throughout the world.

    "Migrants and refugees, despite the pains and losses that come with our displacement, can rejoice. We, the displaced, are not alone. God is with us everywhere — in both the old country and the new, in both lamentation and praise, in both rootedness and displacement." – Hannah Keziah Agustin, What does it mean to follow God in our displacement?

Prayer: God, be with the refugee, the displaced, the migrant, seeking a place in a world that makes little room for them. May we be agents of Your love to all such people as given opportunity. Amen.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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