Home? There is room for refugees

When I was at Theological College I remember a visiting speaker asking us to share with the group where our home was. I naturally responded saying it was here at Queens – because for that 2 year period Queens was home…

But immediately I was asked – “no I mean where is your actual home…”, and I pushed back… “this is my actual home…”

Having moved around a lot as a child, and now training for itinerant ministry – despite the instability it offers, I’ve got quite used to home being a movable place – that where my family is is home.

The Nativity story is also one of changing home. Mary and Joseph leave their home town of Nazareth, and find a borrowed room in Bethlehem – and then they have tio move on again – and end up in Egypt.

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. 
“Get up,” he said,
“take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.
Stay there until I tell you,
for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

Matthew 2:13

I wonder how Mary & Joseph felt at that time. They’d got earthly responsbility for God’s son – indeed to them Jesus was their son – and yet so much danger surrounds them.

This year I’ve come to question the line in Once in Royal David’s City ‘And through all His wondrous childhood’ (verse 3). Was Jesus childhood years, living as a refugee, an alien in a foreign land, wonderous? Is it wonderous to live in fear? To have to flee for your life?

Jesus experienced persecution from those who clung desperately to power from an early age. And so too, today, there are people in our world who spread hate against others – including for refugees – simply so that they can cling to their power.

May 2023 be a year when we turn hate into love and hostility into peace – and make room for refugees who from terror and devastation flee.

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