Matthew’s Christmas Story

With all the talk about who is able to enter our country as well as questions about refugee resettlement I find it interesting to note these words from Matthew’s Christmas Story:

 

Matthew 2: 13-15

  • “Now after (the wise men) 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 he child and his mother by night, and went it Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod.
  • This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’”

 

Our Christian faith deals with the real world and not much has changed since the first year of our Lord’s life.

  • Most of us who came from Europe have a story when someone immigrated to America.
  • Most who came from the Far East immigrated through San Francisco.
  • Almost all were welcomed into our country and their contribution of our country cannot be underestimated.

 

It is true that times have changed, but the church and faith has always cared about those ‘fleeing’ tyranny.

  • Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus had a ‘flight’ into Egypt that meant running for their lives from Herod.
  • They dwelt as aliens in that country for most of our Lord’s early childhood.
  • My point is that Egypt took them in and that God’s Son was called ‘out of Egypt’.

 

Today Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service shared these suggested talking points in response to the Paris tragedy and Syrian refugee crisis:

  • “We mourn with the people of France (and California) for the murder of innocents, and we are gravely concerned for the safety of the refugees who have fled and are fleeing the violence of ISIS every day. …
  • The United States handpicks the refugees who resettle here, and they go through multiple layers of security checks, making them the most thoroughly vetted group of people who come to the United States. Security screenings are rigorous and involve the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies. …
  • The United States resettles refugees of all faiths. Keeping some Syrian refugees out of this country based on their religion sends the wrong message to the rest of the world about who we are as Americans. We are a welcoming country with a religiously diverse society and our resettlement program should continue to reflect this. To not do so only feed into ISIS’ propaganda and makes us all less safe. …
  • Refugees are the most scrutinized and screened individuals to enter the United States. The robust and multi-layered series of security checks include biometrics, medical screenings, interagency intelligence sharing, and in-person interviews with Department of Homeland Security. … “

 

At the Crossroads of Highways 71 and 34 folks are moving freely all over Minnesota to conduct business that includes personal travel.

  • As we go into 2016 may we have the innocence of doves as well as the wisdom of the serpent.
  • With both we will continue the mission of Christianity to serve Jesus as he comes to us in the eyes of babies rescued from evil.
  • With both Lutheran Refugee and Immigration Service will balance who is sponsored for resettlement and who is not.

 

Thanks be to God.

Pastor Steve