Sunday, November 22, 2015

IMMIGRANTS | We All Were Once

Lady Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore...
(Emma Lazarus)
We are about to head into a holiday season in the United States that is full of reasons for compassion to displaced Syrians.

It is already difficult for a Syrian refugee to get asylum in the United States. So far 2,300 have been admitted. Egypt has admitted 135,000, says Nicholas Kristof.

The New York Times today posted a list of all the steps that the U.S. Government takes to prevent the admission of an enemy of our country.

Thanksgiving. It is worth remembering that the Mayflower Pilgrims were refugees from persecution in England. Dissenters like them could be charged with treason and executed.

St. Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children and travelers, as well as of New York City. He has, in the person of Santa Claus, been personified through the poetry of Clement Clarke Moore of Chelsea, New York City as the embodiment of empathy and generosity.

Christmas.  When pregnant Mary and Joseph came to Bethlehem, they were in a strange city. The only available place for them to sleep was a stable. That was bad enough. But Matthew 2:1-18 says Joseph was warned to emigrate with the rest of his family to Egypt to escape King Herod. They may have stayed in Egypt as refugees for as long (one commentator says) as eight years.

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