Categories: Pastors Blog
“Love Knows No Borders”
It was a normal night. Really, completely normal, quite ordinary yet rather extraordinary. The young couple wandered through the deserted streets of the ancient city of David. It was dark, unfriendly and eerily quiet as the city settled into the darkness. Their search for lodging appeared to be fruitless. They just needed a place, any place, to rest. The eminent arrival of their first child meant their trip took a little longer and made their need for rest a little more urgent. Up and down the city streets, in and out of the alley ways they pleaded and they begged. Their hometown of Nazareth seemed so very far away, but oh how they longed for the familiar sounds, comforting smells, and safe places of home and family. This young couple felt the rejection of the world their unborn child was coming to save. Finally, an innkeeper agreed to let them use the area he normally used for his animals to sleep and eat. The couple settled in thankful to be still, grateful to be safe within the humble manger. Soon after the birth of their son, some unexpected guests and unwelcome news came almost simultaneously. Magi from the east had come with gifts fit for a king, presented to an infant. Following their visit came the news, delivered via angels, that the maniacal king of the Jews, Herod, had issued a murderous decree that every boy 2 years and younger should be killed. History remembers this as the “Massacre of the Innocents”. These events marked the beginning of Jesus’ life, the life of a refugee. Feels and sounds quite similar to the refugee crisis facing the world today doesn’t it? How do we as followers of Christ respond? We are not to think like politicians, or military strategists first. We are to have this mind which was also in Christ (Philippians 2:5-10). We are not to consider self-preservation and national security, these thoughts, apart from the Gospel, are what will lead to racially motivated, hateful injustice. We must protect ourselves from this with the Gospel message; that we who were far away (refugees in sin) have been brought near by God’s grace through salvation. Remembering our own refugee status is a common theme from Moses (Deuteronomy 10:19) to Jesus (Matthew 5:44) to Paul (Romans 12:17-21; Ephesians 2:17-22). Jesus said that we must be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). This involves the careful application of the law of grace to all peoples. As governments deliberate over these issues, let the followers of Christ be fearless (“Do not fear” is the most common command in scripture!) as we carry out the clearly defined mission of the Gospel.