This week’s Time magazine cover story focused on four new infants, born to refugee mothers fleeing Syria, four children the magazine has committed to following for the next year, a project you can follow for yourself. While the writers made no overt connection with Christmas, the time when Christians around the world celebrate another baby born to refugee parents, the timing was not pure coincidence.
The discomfort I felt, reading about little Heln, Hamida, Rahaf and Faraj, learning that theirs were four of more than 1,000 births this year in Greek refugee camps, made me wonder about Jesus’s story. We tend to read his nativity story hearing “peace on earth and good will to all people” – and justly so. Yet our reading can become so peace-filled that it loses its essential power to disturb – to trouble us that circumstances were so bad that God’s birth happened in an uprooted family with no home.
As we approach Christmas this year I pray for much-needed peace for you, for all of us, for all of our world. But not at the risk of growing too comfortable with the story of Jesus’s birth: God coming among us, a vulnerable infant fleeing home to escape violence. May our love for that child become love for all who find themselves in his position, this year and always.
Blessings of the comfort of peace and disturbance of love,