When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
— MATTHEW 2:13–15
This may be a strange Scripture passage to write a devotion from, but it is a personal reminder for me of the plight of millions of people around our globe. In our North
American context, we often think of Jesus as the Shepherd, the Saviour King, the Messiah and the Healer; how often do we think of Jesus as the Homeless or the Refugee?
I was born a refugee, a child of parents who fled war-torn Vietnam and, through God’s grace, ended up in an internment camp on the island of Hong Kong where my family came to know Jesus.
Today, there are over 51 million people around the world who are forcibly displaced from their homes (iafr.org). I am thankful that our family of churches is beginning to respond to
the needs of refugees, but there is still a great need to be met. After landing in Canada, many refugees find themselves exhausted, distressed and in need of care and social aid. We have an incredible opportunity to respond as Christ-followers to the needs of refugees who come to Canada, as well as those who remain in refugee camps.
Next time you read Jesus’ birth story, consider Christ’s words “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40).
1. Who are the refugees around me?
2. How can my church community be involved in the plight of displaced people around the world?
Thich Truong, his wife Alyssa and their toddler, Elliott, serve at Emmanuel Alliance Church in Ottawa, ON. He is passionate about the Church’s role in justice and reconciliation.
For information on refugee sponsorship, visit: http://justiceandcompassion.com/refugee/
Image: An Iraqi woman from Mosul carries her son at the Garmava transit camp, which is located near a checkpoint on the road between Mosul and Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan. The camp will have the capacity to host some 3,000 people