Advent Devotional: Day 26

By: Perry Hamalis, Cecelia Schneller Mueller Professor of Religion

Scripture: Matthew 2:13-23

Theme: #Innocent

It is a scene that has become all too familiar: an innocent family forced to abandon their home, to flee from horrific violence, to become refugees. It is a scene happening as we speak—and as it has for many months—in Syria, Palestine, Burundi, Mali, Nigeria, Eritrea and other war-torn lands around the globe. It is a scene that also happened ~2,000 years ago…when King Herod set out to massacre innocent children, and Joseph, Mary the Mother of God, and the infant Christ made the treacherous journey from Bethlehem to Egypt.

O Strange Wonder!  O Paradox beyond Understanding!

A powerful King feels threatened by a newborn child.

The Truly Innocent One is hunted like a criminal.

The New Moses must flee the New Pharaoh.

The One through whom all of creation was given a fitting home becomes homeless.

The Prince of Peace is violently pursued.

The One at whose name every knee will bow is a refugee.

O Strange Wonder! O Paradox beyond Understanding!

Will we ever learn? Will we—this time—cease our assault on the innocent? Will we, in the face of each refugee, see the face of Christ? Will we, in our hearts, grasp the message of the Messiah?


Blessed Trinity, Who knows firsthand the reality of homelessness, of “refugee status,” and of the suffering of the innocent, grant us Your mercy, unworthy as we are. Warm and open our cold and inhospitable hearts to those who come to us seeking refuge.  Direct our lives toward communion with You, all of Your children, and Your entire creation. Amen.


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