By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 13, ‘and flee to Egypt’
This is Matthew’s Christmas story—Joseph almost leaves Mary due to her mysterious
pregnancy, a couple years later magi journey from the east to visit the child, and now
the holy family flees to Egypt to flee political persecution (Herod wanted dead any
contender for the crown)—as refugees. It’s hard enough taking a two year old to the
grocery store, can you imagine traveling hundreds of miles through the desert with
a baby? I cannot. But millions of people in this world can and do. Running away to
a land filled with a different language and different customs wherein you are not allowed to work is a desperate response to a horrible situation. I cannot help but think that the holy family was just as devastated, scared, and lonely as many refugee families today. It’s not surprising that later Jesus identifies himself with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the prisoner. All refer to stressors faced by refugees—by Jesus himself in his first years of life. How quickly circumstances can change—one moment being honored by travelers from afar, the next moment fleeing for one’s life. How do we react when faced by those whose lives are in peril?
Traveling God, we pray to you for traveling mercies upon the start of a
journey for ourselves and our loved ones. May we be that bestower of blessing
when encountering strangers visiting for fun or fleeing from persecution.