“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, 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.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt” (Matthew 2:13-14).
“Jesus, you know the feeling of not being wanted in the land!” Someone prayed that over me during a terrible time in my life when my extension for a visa was denied. After the rejection, I could not return to my country of residence, therefore, losing my work, home and car. For those of us who had to take sudden moves geographically, as immigrants or refugees, the journey is often frightful and difficult. Yet, we can have hope because Jesus sympathises with the arduous journey.
Jesus and his family experienced a similar chaos and rejection as many of us who have to leave a land behind unwantedly. A tyrannical and insecure leader forced them to flee to Egypt. An equivalent situation for many of us around the world. When we find ourselves in this tough situation, we desperately need someone who understands what we are going through; someone who can sympathise with us. In Jesus, the God of the universe can sympathise with the immigrants and refugees because he has been through the same.
Thus, if this Christmas you are away from home (or even homeless) may you know that Jesus is a gift for you because he can sympathise with you. May Jesus be your gift as a home for the homeless, bread for the immigrant, and shelter for the refugee. He is a gift for those on the migrant journey.