Words of Hope Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 January 2016 00:00

with Barry Fraser

Our world is teaming with refugees.  Anyone who spends time watching the cable news networks is aware of the movement of many individuals from one country to another.  We see migrations from Syria and Arab nations to Europe, Africa to Europe, and Central America to the United States.  There are many opinions among U.S. Presidential candidates on how to deal with this crisis.

Many people do not realize that Jesus was once a refugee.  After the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem, he was visited by several learned astrologers from Persia.  After this, Joseph was instructed by an angel to take Mary and the child Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt, to escape from King Herod who sought to kill the child.

The story of their exile in Egypt is found in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 2, Verses 13 through 18.  So the Holy Family sought refuge in Egypt. Here they found safety and security. The gold given to them by the visitors from the east provided for their stay in Egypt. It may even have helped Joseph set up a carpentry shop in his temporary residence!  But their true hope and destiny was in returning to their homeland.
Eventually King Herod died, and an angel told Joseph it was safe to return. The angel said, “Get up, take the child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” (Matthew 2:20)  So the family went to Joseph’s home in Nazareth, fulfilling the Messianic prophecy in Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I have called my son.”

Moses led the Israelites out from slavery in Egypt.  Jesus, the Somn of God, came out from Egypt to free us from the slavery of sin.

As we recall these ancient words of scripture, let us be mindful of any refugees in our midst.  People come to Belize for refuge for a variety of reasons.  It is our duty as Christians to welcome those who come to settle in our nation home.  Let us invite them into our church family, and show them they are among true friends.

We would do well to follow the advice in Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.”

Let us hear from you, our readers.  Text or call 660-7512.  God bless you all.