Do you remember this graphic?
Crosslight magazine published it from September 2013, to remind readers of those who, in their efforts to find asylum, were seeking to come by boat to these shores. It’s a succinct riff that recalls the Gospel account of the flight into Egypt by Mary and Joseph and their newborn.
There’s a subtle message here: to celebrate Christmas is to face the challenging reality of people seeking a place of asylum, a place of safety.
According to the “church calendar”, the 28th of December commemorates this event recalling the slaughter of Bethlehem’s baby boys. In retelling the Biblical story, the visit of the wise men with their gold, frankincense and myrrh is known well enough. Documented in the Gospel of Matthew, their visit is recounted to tell readers that “gentle Jesus meek and mild” was born into a family seeking asylum.
Do we think of Christmas as a season to remember asylum seekers? Asylum seeking would seem to be an unavoidable part of the Christmas story.
Bruce Wearne 30-10-2020