Today on Ethics Daily, Elijah Brown had an interesting article about Jesus' early life as an African refugee. I had the opportunity to meet Elijah in April of this year in Philadelphia at the meeting of the North American Baptist Fellowship. He's an associate professor of missions at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, TX and is a very sharp young man and a gifted communicator.
Elijah challenges all of us to consider the plight of the millions in our world who have been forced to abandon their country of origin due to a variety of factors--war, persecution, natural disasters, hunger, etc. While in our Christmas reflections and celebrations we seldom include mention of the flight of Jesus' family to Egypt to escape the horrific infanticide carried out by Herod in Bethlehem, the fact remains that Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus were refugees. The good news of Jesus' birth offers hope even for those who've lost everything and have fled to what often seems a strange and foreign setting because Jesus began His own life as an African refugee. He understands what it means to be without a home, without wealth, or even without a country.