This year as we have told the Christmas story in the homes of new-American neighbors who have settled among us, I have been reminded anew that Jesus began His life on earth as a refugee. In fact, we might consider Jesus as a two-time refugee. First, He left Heaven and came to earth as the One who would purchase the redemption of our souls in a rescue plan designed by God His Father. Jesus emptied Himself of all that rightfully belonged to Him and for our sake became poor that we might become rich. That was His first and ongoing refugee experience. Second, Jesus would have less than two years of life before He would be the target of a plan to destroy Him designed by Herod. So Jesus fled with His family to Egypt to escape from the murderous plot of Herod. Our new settler neighbors know what it is like to flee for their lives from their country of birth. And now they can know that Someone is able to relate to them as One who has walked through this refugee experience long before they did. His name is Jesus. Refugee Jesus who came to seek and save the lost and to serve- giving His life as a ransom for many. Cf. Matthew 2:13-15, Mark 10:45.
This year for Christmas, we have been "gifting" our neighbors from around the world by showing up to their home with wrapped Christmas gifts. We use this time to sing Christmas carols (you know, the ones about the Christ in CHRISTmas), present the simple story of Jesus' birth, and to pray for them. Refuge KC is so thankful for Crossroads Church & Pastor Darryl Jones, Emmaus Church & Risa Woods, and First Baptist Independence & Pastor Kevin Payne.