Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’Matthew 2:13-15
Jesus was a refugee. His family was forced to flee because of a tyrannical ruler who threatened the life of the baby Jesus. Sound familiar?
There are people fleeing war zones all round the world. Again, complex issues surround those seeking asylum in other nations but Australia takes very few refugees when compared to countries like Turkey, Bangladesh, Germany and Pakistan. Did you know there is no queue for refugees living in temporary transit camps? This is a myth. Did you know it is not illegal to seek asylum under international laws? This is another myth. Refugees have arrived in Australia for many years and they have brought their gifts and skills to share with those Australians already living here. Some were economic migrants and some refugees.
Jesus’ family found safety in Egypt. Ironically, this is where many African refugees fled before coming to Australia to be settled here in our communities. Jesus was a refugee – he experienced the uncertainty of life just like today’s refugees, hundreds of whom are still in offshore detention facing more uncertainty. How long, O Lord, how long?
We give thanks that we live in safety in this wonderful country.
We give thanks that we are able to vote, to express different political opinions, to live in peace.
We give thanks for those who protect us and those who work for refugee organisations and charities.
We pray for all those forced to flee for their safety, for those making decisions about their futures.
We pray in the name of the refugee Jesus,