04 January 2018
Scripture: Matthew 2:13-23
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Child-King, became a refugee when he was only a toddler. Evil King Herod sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under. Joseph’s sensitivity and quick obedience, and the valuable gifts of the wise men, made it possible for Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and escape to Egypt where they stayed as refugees until God spoke to Joseph in a dream that it was safe to return to Israel.
Almighty God, creator of the universe, became a child, powerless, vulnerable, and helpless to provide for or protect himself! Hebrews 2 and 4 tell us that Jesus understands our powerlessness, our suffering, and our vulnerability because he himself (God in helpless human toddler flesh) experienced what we experience! Take this seriously, friends!
Have you experienced what it’s like to be vulnerable, to be powerless, to be an outsider? Who stepped up and protected you? Who cared for you and provided for you? Who included you, the outsider, when you felt like a refugee in your world? Jean and I remember well what it felt like to have our resident visa cancelled when we were serving in Jamaica, to face the threat of sudden deportation, and to experience the joy and relief when a Jamaican pastor and a Christian Immigration Officer stepped up and sorted things out!
Is there someone in your world who is powerless, vulnerable, and excluded? What can you do to be for them what someone was for you in your “refugee” experience? Will you be sensitive and available to them as Joseph was for Jesus and as someone was for you?
Father, My heart overflows with gratitude that in Jesus Christ, you humbled yourself to experience the powerlessness, the vulnerability, the “refugee-ness” of our human experience. I’m thankful for Joseph and the unsuspecting wise men, I’m thankful for Al Miller and the Jamaican Officer who rescued Jean and me, and I’m thankful that you still know what it feels like to be weak, alone, and afraid. Please help me and my readers to be sensitive and responsive to the “refugees” in our world. Amen.