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Jesus as a Syrian Refugee

We truly believe women make change happen! When women gather for the common good, amazing things begin to happen and emerge. The process of solutions begins. On a recent trip to Israel/Palestine, I (Lisa) had the privilege to meet some amazing women, standing tall and united for peace in a land riddled with conflict and tension. Most of their stories were heartbreaking but also hope giving. One evening I sat with a woman I’ll call, “I” which is her blogging name. She is a part of group of bloggers who represent Israeli and Palestinian women who want to use their voice and stories to perpetuate peace. Below is a recent blog from “I”. You can read more about these women and hear more of their stories at: anothervoice.info.

There are many opinions floating out there right now about refugees – should we allow them in or should we shut our borders? I have found myself asking the questions many times when in difficult and dark situations, “Where is Jesus’ heart in all of this?”, or said another way, “Where would Jesus be in this?” Tough questions, but ones we need to be asking. The answers might surprise you. This poem is a great reminder of what love does and where the heart of Jesus would be found. Let yourself wonder . . .

Jesus as a Syrian Refugee

I wonder if we have forgotten Jesus the man
who knew the fear of flight,
plucked by his parents in a sudden need to
abandon his homeland for a foreign one.

I wonder if we have forgotten Jesus the man
who knew loneliness, hunger and helplessness,
that heavy weakness
that taunted the mind and tempted the spirit.

I wonder if we have forgotten Jesus the man
who freely offered a message to the unwanted,
who healed those others accused
of bringing suffering on themselves.

I wonder if we have forgotten Jesus the man
who would escape to a boat for respite,
who passed through the waters
with fearful friends in a storm-tossed sea.

I wonder if we have forgotten Jesus the man
who knew what it meant to be despised and shamed.
Many have no interest in this desperate,
hungry, thirsty, sick stranger in need of clothing.

I wonder if we have forgotten Jesus the man
who said whatever you do for the least of these,
you do for me, in the guise of
the least of our day, a Syrian refugee.

I wonder if we have forgotten Jesus.

Christmas is a time where we remember the incarnation, when God inserted himself into humanity’s story in an unexpected way. This was just the beginning. We are invited to partner in the message of redemption the incarnation brings by meeting the needs of those Jesus advocated for — the desperate, hungry, thirsty, sick and stranger that are vulnerable to injustice.

The generosity of the holiday season is admirable, but Jesus’ hope was never for the ‘haves’ to have more, but for the ‘have nots’ to be raised from their suffering to the human dignity with which they were created. Consider how you can love incarnationally this year, embodying the cares and concerns of Jesus for someone else.

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