Cards that depict Mary and Joseph around the manger paint a warm and content picture.
Soon news would be given to Joseph that the family must move on and quickly.
For the paranoid King Herod was in search of the one ‘who had been born king of the Jews’ not to worship him but to kill him.
Flee the family did. Not to a place they knew but a place that was not known to them. There they faced finding a place to live, adjusting to the local culture, not understanding the language and being treated as outsiders.
Who would want to live like that?
Today many are currently living like that. Families that are escaping the conflict in Syria are facing this situation today.
Soon we will be in the privileged position of welcoming such families, driven by the conviction these people have human rights too. In this part of the world we share a common Christian heritage that has shaped our view of human rights.
The child who was born to Mary, Jesus, was a refugee but his words as an adult have shaped our society and mind set.
We find in Matthew 7 v 12, with wonderful simplicity but incredible challenge Jesus said: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”
Let Jesus words shape us in our welcome of those seeking shelter in our world today.
By Rev Paul Linkens
Ebrington Presbyterian Church