Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jeremiah 23: 1-8

Jeremiah lived at a time when the Jewish people were under attack from their enemies, leading ultimately to Exile.

The loss of their land and heritage, their national pride and standing among the nations was a deeply traumatic experience for Judah and Israel.

Whether it’s for political or economic reasons, to escape persecution or ethnic cleansing, the experience of forcibly having to leave your homeland is painful.

The situation of migrants and refugees is generally one of displacement and distress.

This was the case for God's people, and it’s what many experience today.

The mass movement of refugees – or asylum-seekers – who now number many millions worldwide, is becoming an increasing global problem.

Migrants are forced to live in a second-choice world. They carry the scars of loss: the loss of belongings, of cultural identity and relational networks.

Do we care ?

God does.

In his Son he identified personally with all who suffer – including refugees. Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with the infant Jesus to Egypt to escape King Herod's fury. The holy family became political migrants.

But through Jeremiah, God promised to bring his people home, under his protective covering. He would rescue them from their enemies, heal them and deliver them from their fears.

Jesus came so that we might experience deliverance from our fears, and salvation from all that oppresses us.