Mary and Joseph, refugees
“As I ponder what these last few days before the Nativity might have meant for Mary and Joseph, I can’t help but see the connection between their journey to Bethlehem and flight to Egypt with the travels of so many refugee families searching for a new, safe home…I know that Mary didn’t have a baby registry set up with Amazon and likely there were no baby showers providing all her newborn’s needs but I can imagine that she was longing for a safe, warm and clean bed and the local midwife’s attentions when her time came. Joseph, as a carpenter, very likely didn’t have much experience with the women’s work of labor and delivery. And then, just when the new family might have felt a bit secure, God reveals the danger that they are in should they remain in Bethlehem so off they flee to a new, safe home where they will be strangers, refugees in this new land. In so many human ways, they were on their own in this endeavor much like the refugees who are longing to come to a country of safety but where everything will be new to them – new languages, new customs, a whole new life.” Judith Schelhammer, chair Resolution Review Committee, Episcopal Diocese Michigan, posted December 22, 2016 on the web site of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. www.edomi.org
My heart goes out to the many refugees in our world, especially those at our borders, who are just seeking basic safety for their own lives and their family. I also have become acquainted with several DREAMERS, those who are undocumented who came with their parents years ago and now are seeking education and status. Their situation is very tenuous. This is the country they know and have grown up in. They have no connection to their country of origin. We would be deporting some of the hardest working groups of people I have experienced, people who already enrich and broaden our culture.
I try to connect to them in some small way by remembering that all of our ancestors were at one time refugees to this country unless we are native Americans.
I can also see ourselves in our search for God as refugees often deciding to leave a place or point of view of our origin, seeking more, a larger view of God, a new life, often learning a new language. We step out on roads less traveled. It as well cannot be an easy journey, definitely a sacred adventure where guides can be helpful.