DO YOU HAVE A ROOM THIS ADVENT FOR A REFUGEE OR IMMIGRANT?
At my local UCC congregation in Portland, Oregon the Sunday before Christmas the children always create an original play about Jesus, Mary and the birth of baby Jesus. As Joseph and Mary process down the aisle, they knock on cardboard doors and ask "Is there any room at the inn?" Different people respond in gruff voices, NO, we have no room!
Today at the Comedor, a Jesuit feeding shelter in Nogales, Sonora, Engracias, one of the nuns, talked about Jesus as refugee as his parents crossed the desert into Egypt - the desert is a reality for every migrant hoping to enter the USA and having to cross the Sonoran desert.
Our media is full of news that some state governors, including the governor of Arizona, don't want refugees from Syria or Iraq or in reality anywhere! Migration is a human rights and people are on the move whether it is the US - Mexico border or Greece, Italy, Macedonia - as one Italian pastor said this winter, "the Mediterranean is our desert."
What are we asked to do this season of Hanukkak that begins this weekend and for Christians Advent began last Sunday, (11/29) - all major religions have calls to welcome the stranger, to feed the stranger and to offer hospitality to the stranger.
I am working with local immigration activists to find a home for a mother and son from Honduras. They fled violence at home and managed to cross into the USA and turned themselves into the Border Patrol seeking asylum. It is an inconvenient time as many people are focused on holiday events, parties, wrapping presents, Santa Claus visits with kids, so where do I/we find a home for this woman and child? Can our hearts be opened to say "Yes, there is room at the inn. Welcome, hermana!" May it be so.
My life has been about crossing borders and cultures and building bridges across the boundaries that normally divide. Have you crossed any borders in your life?