Monday, December 17, 2012

Holy Immigrants

Joseph took You and Your Mom into Egypt.  You were an immigrant before You were a Nazarene. ~ Max Lucado
Jesus Christ, an immigrant?

I never thought about that before.

Mary, Joseph, and infant Jesus were immigrants in a foreign land. Possibly even "illegal" aliens. 

Here on Long Island there is much controversy surrounding our illegal-alien population. On the Eastend of the Island where we live the farms and vineyards are all worked by illegal immigrants. Landscaping and construction crews are made up of these Spanish-speaking people: men and woman who have excellent work ethics and are willing to work for little money; men and women fleeing to the U.S. for a better way of life.

Most do not speak English, except a few words here and there, but the Long Island economy now depends on these very hard-working people. 

However, many come to New York just to have babies birthed on American soil, so that their children will be American citizens, with all the rights and privileges thereof. The controversy arises because here in New York they receive free health care. After receiving their free maternity care, they return to their countries with their children who are now American citizens. So many New Yorkers, including Christians, are bitter. 

But, Mary and Joseph may have been "illegals" when they crossed Egypt's borders, crossing over for a "better life", escaping their Child's certain death.

Mary and Joseph spoke Aramaic, yet the fled to a land whose language at that time was Greek. Their culture and that of the Greeks were complete opposite extremes. Yet, God Almighty ordered them to flee to Egypt to save their Son - The Christ - from death under King Herod's decree.  

Did Mary and Joseph live in fear of being "deported"? Or worse - enslaved?

Mary and Joseph probably dressed differently than the Greeks. They spoke a foreign language and their skin-color may have been a different shade. Did they stick out like sore thumbs?

What work did Joseph do in this foreign land to support his family?  Was he willing to do what the Greeks considered menial tasks? 

Hiding out from King Herod's henchmen, these holy immigrants probably lived on the down-low - doing nothing that would draw attention to themselves or to their baby, Jesus.  

Just like many of our immigrants today.

How quickly did they learn Greek? Did they ever blend into that foreign society?

Was there controversy over these foreigners? Were they persecuted in Egypt?  Did Mary and Joseph always have to look over their shoulders in fear of the authorities?

...hmmm...I wonder...

As I close out my OneWord goal for 2012 - EXTRAVAGANT LOVE - I think I'm a little bit closer to achieving it thanks to Max's words. His words have brought a new perspective on this much-heated New York subject.  

May EXTRAVAGANT LOVE have it's way in my heart, 
extending words of grace when this topic arises. 
And eventually it will. 
May I have the boldness to share about Mary and Joseph 
and that the EXTRAVAGANT LOVE of our God extends to all - 
no matter what country they come from or language they speak. 
May this volitile, political topic be turned to a spiritual one, 
seasoned with an EXTRAVAGANT LOVE, through my replies.
have it's perfect work in my heart for years to come.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


TC Avey said...

I never thought of Jesus being an immigrant before, just that his parents obeyed God and God protected them. Thanks for shedding light on this passage.
Much to think about. I pray GOD guides our nation as we move forward in 2013, may extravagant love grow in us all and pour out to the masses.

Floyd said...

Great point! Living in Arizona this is a huge subject too. For me, I can relate to the people who are trying to do the best they can for their family.

What people don't understand is that the border is still open in spots and there was a time when there was not fence at all. For decades the government didn't enforce anything and actually encouraged it for the undermanned workforce. Now the people who walked across and have families and children are being deported. Do you think they're going to stay there when they have children here? Would you?

We are all one blood. The interesting thing is that the people who have the most in common with these folks are the very ones that oppose them... Crazy times...

Excellent point. That analogy will make you think...

A Joyful Noise said...

Many of us are not Jews by birth, and Jesus first came to bring salvation to the JEWs. We are an alien of sorts when we come to Jesus, and he takes us in and grafts us into becoming the seed of Abraham! WOW, your thoughts are awesome in your post!

Diane Ronzino said...

You all make great points...MORE food for thought! HALLELUJAH!