Have they ever read the story of the Nativity?

I was alerted to this via Ruth Gledhill's column on Christmas Eve and I thought for a moment that it was a spoof, but it is not and is proof-positive that the UK Border Agency is an irony (and perhaps compassion) free zone... Just check out the words that make up the tree... Those are just the sort of things you want to celebrate at Christmas... But it makes the perfect illustration for a short piece that I have written for this morning on Downtown radio.

The story continues… and we come to another episode that you rarely see in Primary School Nativity plays… Jesus, Mary and Joseph the refugees in Egypt…
Lets give thanks that Egypt didn’t have the same border controls as we have… If they did then Jesus and his parents may have been sent back to the tender loving care of Herod and his regime… Or locked away in a secure institution like those children of refugees and asylum seekers who were refused a visit from Saint Nicholas at the beginning of December… Or reduced to begging on the streets, perhaps selling an ancient papyrus version of the Big Issue…
So the next time you hear someone campaigning for tighter border controls, and saying that “They should all go back where they came from,” or you avoid eye contact with someone huddled in a shop doorway… Think… What if the people of Egypt had done that?
Towards the end of his life Jesus told a story about the judgment at the end of time and in that story he said: 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,” and "whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
What should we do for Jesus, Mary and Joseph the refugees?


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