Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

("The Flight into Egypt," by He Qi)

The Second Sorrow--The Flight into Egypt

O, that blessed one, grief-laden,
blessed Mother, blessed Maiden,
Mother of the all-holy One;
O that silent, ceaseless mourning,
O those dim eyes, never turning
from that wondrous, suffering Son.

It must have been a tense time for the Holy Family as they prepared to leave Nazareth in light of the angel's instructions to abandon their home.  How does one prepare to escape without attracting much attention?  Knowing they had to leave the security of home and possessions carried its own stress and fear.  As they fled, each person they represented on the road represented a potential hidden danger.  It must have felt quite troublesome to seek refuge in the land where their ancestors found only bondage.

Each day, mothers and their children flee danger.  Some flee to escape flooding, storms, hurricanes, typhoons.  Some flee because of war and oppression.  Some flee abusers within their own households--people they love.  Others flee from economic bondage in the form of sweatshops and exploitative work arrangements.  Just as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus fled to avoid a certain death for their son in the Slaughter of the Innocents, families all over the world pack their bags and seek a new home, a new country, for shelter and sanctuary.  Some hope for a new life and new prosperity.  Many only have the clothes on their backs and a few treasured possessions.  Many risk being "illegal."  Sometimes they suddenly find themselves in exile because governments dissolve or the ruling powers are overthrown, and situations dictate that they can no longer return home.

In times of natural disaster and war, families sometimes return home to find they no longer have one.  Sometimes they return to find a physical shell of what they called home, but the rest of their family dead. Towns and villages can be wiped from a map, but the memory of those who once lived there can only be wiped off the map if we choose to forget them.  Painful as it might be, may we remember.

Let us pray. (silence)

God of sanctuary, just as Mary and Joseph chose to flee in order to spare the life of young Jesus, families flee every day to save the lives of their children.  They risk new and present dangers to escape the dangers of the world they already know.  They choose to accept the ambiguities of the unknown rather than be swallowed up by the dangers in their immediate present moments.  Illumine their path as they seek new homes, permanent and temporary.  Comfort them when they mourn those who die in the whirlwind of violence; assuage them from the sense of guilt that sometimes comes with the mercy of survival.  Give them the courage to start over.  We ask these things in the name of your Son, Jesus.  Amen.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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