Musings from Canon Val
As I sit here in my living room by the fireplace, sun streaming through the window, I find myself pondering the meaning of all the events that are taking place in the world.
As we come closer to the celebration of the birth of Jesus I wonder what you all are pondering in your hearts. We do know from scripture Mary “pondered all these things in her heart” when the angel announced to her she would have a child, the Prince of Peace.
It is hard for us to imagine what Mary, all those years ago, was going through as a young woman, unmarried yet with child having to leave her home and family and travel with the man, Joseph, who had agreed to marry her. It must have been a very frightening time for both Mary and Joseph as they made their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem only to arrive and find out there was no room for them! A family… on the move…challenges…a baby on the way…no home…where were they to go…who would help them? How would they survive? What lay ahead for them?
How many people in our world today find themselves in this position? How many children have never even known a home outside of a refugee camp, how many children haven’t had the opportunity to attend school? How many parents fight to feed their children on a daily basis? How many parents have to take their children and flee from their homes to try to keep them safe? How many children have witnessed unthinkable atrocities? Do we sometimes forget that the Holy Child was once a refugee, his parents having to take him and flee to save his life from the wrath of King Herod? I am sure they didn’t want to leave their homeland, all that they had come to know and love, however they could see no other choice if they wanted their child to live. And so they became refugees…
Here at St John’s we are in the process of exploring how we can help sponsor a refugee family. We, along with Holy Trinity Chippewa and Christ Church Niagara Falls have already started conversation about a joint campaign to raise funds that will help us do just that. Anyone at St John’s who wishes to make a donation to this mission can do it by putting your donation on the plate or bringing it into the office…just please make sure to mark your donation “refugee sponsorship fund” so it can be tracked. It can be a time consuming project, however I am told, it is also very rewarding. We will keep you posted on the process and how we are to proceed as we get everything in order.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you, I have called you by name; you are mine. -Isaiah 43:1