We are on the other side of the season when most Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Perhaps it is the time to […]
We are on the other side of the season when most Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Perhaps it is the time to tell the story that follows all the warm and friendly scenes.
In my imagination, I see a picture from an old Bible story book of Joseph and Mary and the Child leaving by the back door of their house, even as the king’s soldiers are beginning to pound on the front door. Perhaps it wasn’t so close as that. Perhaps these three special persons, hardly yet a family, had traveled some miles beyond the town before the awful cry began to rise up in the night. Though they missed the tragedy in Bethlehem, they certainly didn’t miss the sorrow, for which of us as parents wouldn’t feel a terrible dread if we were commanded at a moment’s notice to take our little ones and run for our lives?
Though we are fond of saying that all the world loves a baby, let’s remember that before this baby was many days or months old, He was already despised and rejected, a Child of sorrows, and oh, so acquainted with grief. As the apostle John reminds us, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11, KJV). There was no room for His mother in the inn, and there was no room for Him in the whole land. And so to a heathen, foreign land this precious Child had to flee for His life.
This is the other side of the Christmas story, the darker side. It is perhaps the Bible’s antidote to all those fuzzy notions of worldwide peace and harmony that we entertain at the end of each year.
All that evil could do to make His birth and His life miserable was done. Every circumstance that could be arranged to make his origin scandalous was arranged. Every instrument of terror that could be raised to threaten this Child was raised. Indeed, when we see all that evil had arrayed against Him, it’s all the more remarkable that this Lord of ours taught us a gospel of freedom and trust and confidence and peace.
Yes, above all else, this Child was certainly at risk. And sadly, we know today that He was not the last child to be at risk—that hundreds and even hundreds of thousands of little ones today are part of a great and frightful flight from fear and pain and war and famine.
As you read the special collection of articles focusing on the plight of refugees in this edition of Adventist World, pray for the eyes to see in those Christ calls “His little ones” the face of Him who still seeks our love, our comfort, and our shelter.