Reader Opinion: A welcoming spirit
As we approach the Christmas season, we're reminded that the Christ Child began life as a refugee. The Holy Family had to flee the birth town of Bethlehem and go into Egypt to escape death from King Herod's soldiers. In later years, toward the en...
As we approach the Christmas season, we're reminded that the Christ Child began life as a refugee. The Holy Family had to flee the birth town of Bethlehem and go into Egypt to escape death from King Herod's soldiers. In later years, toward the end of his ministry, Jesus identifies himself with refugees: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me" (Matthew 25), which brings us to this 2015 Christmas season.
Millions of refugees are seeking to escape death carried out by the forces of modern day Herods. Fathers and mothers, young people and children are literally running for their lives, including families and individuals from Syria and Iraq.
Now if we believe what the Bible says, then to refuse refuge to a group of refugees is to say, "Sorry, Jesus, we are afraid of you, so there is no place for you here." Is this how we wish to treat those with whom Jesus identified?
And please know this: The U.S. has a very comprehensive vetting process, including multiple layers of security checks involving the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of defense, and multiple other intelligence agencies that takes place over an 18-24 month period. There is a safe process for entering the U.S.
Our various faith backgrounds will draw us to houses of worship over the coming weeks. On Christmas we'll come together to "join hands" with the Magi around the Christ Child in the manger. Those of other faiths will give praise and homage to the God who loves us all and, right now, especially loves his children who are refugees.
All of us are called to reflect God's love through our lives, especially to those who are the most vulnerable. May a welcoming spirit be among the gifts we share this Christmas season.