09 December 2016
by Robert Street

If Mary and Joseph arrived at the border of your country from the Middle East, needing to escape danger - and especially from those deliberately targeting their child – what kind of a welcome would they be likely to receive in 2016? Would it be warm or cautious? Hostile or indifferent?  Or just complex and frustrating?

There may well have been others fleeing to Egypt when Herod began his killing spree of boys under the age of two, but nowhere near as many refugees as we find today.

There are an estimated 60 million people throughout the world  who have been forced to flee their homes. The numbers of protracted conflicts have increased, meaning there are now more than 15 million refugees worldwide - with developing countries hosting more than 80 per cent of them.

The problems brought by such vast numbers are colossal. Officials and leaders needing wisdom to know how to respond, deserve our prayers and support.

We thank God for those who received Jesus and his parents. We could say they helped save the Saviour – quite a thought.

The One Army ‘In Hope’ study helps us see something of what The Salvation Army is doing, but also gives opportunity for us all to think about our own attitudes. The chapters ‘The Salvation Army and Hope’ and ‘Despair and Hope’ will give any group more than enough to consider at this time of the year (or any time).

Jesus said: ‘Whatever you did (or did not) do for one of the least of these, you did (or did not) do for me’ (Matthew 15: 45). He meant what he said – and from experience too.

Tags: In hope