Jesus was a child who fled violence in his home country

In the midst of debate about immigrant children crossing the U.S. border from Central America, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings notes that “the baby Jesus survived Herod’s massacre because his parents took him across a border to a land where he was safe. Just like parents in Central America who are sending their children away, Mary and Joseph took great risks so their son could survive.” She writes at Religion News Service:

As politicians focus on midterm elections rather than on children in crisis, it’s worth remembering: Christians worship a child who fled from violence in his home country.

The Gospel of Matthew recounts the story of King Herod of Judea, who slaughtered all the babies and toddlers around Bethlehem in a desperate attempt to prevent the reign of Jesus — the child he had been told would become a king.

Every year right after Christmas, Christians commemorate this horror, called the Massacre of the Innocents. “Receive … into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants,” we pray.

Jennings is the president of the Episcopal Church’s lay and clergy House of Deputies and is a member of the worldwide Anglican Consultative Council. Read her full column here.

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