The Refugee Discussion

I’ve had some interesting and heated discussions surrounding refugees. I can get heated in a good discussion. Especially if it is about topics that I feel strongly about. Refugees are one of those subjects. There’s lots of reasons that I can get so worked up about it. There’s a justice for the oppressed aspect. There is the fair treatment of all people aspect. There is the loving a neighbor aspect. But maybe it is because I keep coming back to Jesus of Nazareth, Refugee Savior. We are told very little about the early life of Jesus. That makes whatever details we do have that much more striking. One of those images is of Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt. They are trying to escape a violent situation, and to do so they flee to a foreign country. I’m thinking about all the ways we picture Jesus, but it seems to really get to people if you call him a refugee. There’s always the argument that Mary and Joseph did things the legal way, but I cannot imagine they would ever have said “well, laws are laws, so I guess this baby will die.” I get heated because I know what I would do if I thought my children were going to be in danger. I also get heated because there’s a general feel that there is a need to say “well [liberal X] wasn’t any better than [conservative Y] so you must not care.” Here is the thing. You can like a politician and disagree with them. You can be a liberal or conservative and not go along with everything another liberal or conservative says. It also doesn’t matter who did what in the past when addressing the problem of here and now. Can it explain how we got here? Yes. Does it change that there are people desperate to find a home? No. One last rant before bed. Fact check your claims first. There’s plenty of places that can let you know that a lot of the terrible things said about refugees and immigrants is without merit. A dishonest argument never helped anyone. Especially when talking about vulnerable people.

So, here’s my message. Remember that Christmas is about remembering Christ. And if we remember Christ, we should remember that he was a refugee. He was taken from his native country and escaped into another land. Today, Jesus would have to get through a checkpoint. Jesus would have to come to the border and ask for asylum. Remember that the next time you see someone seeking a safer home for their children and themselves. And remember that when we help them, we are helping Christ.

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