While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:6-7
The Sixth Gift of Christmas: Refuge
If you’ve experienced childbirth in any capacity—a mother, a father, a friend—you know that this miracle of life isn’t smooth, clean, or without pain. It is intense even in the best of circumstances— i.e., clean hospital, trusted doctor, epidurals, etc.
But just for a moment, try to imagine it in the worst.
Millions of refugees around the world have likely experienced labor and delivery far from whatever comforts they might have had at home. They have been forced to endure the experience on the road, in crowded camps, or other environments never intended to be a delivery room.
Such was the story of Mary’s delivery. As her pains began, her husband was likely desperately looking for some suitable place for this Child to enter the world. Time after time, the door was shut. There was no room. They had no refuge until God provided. He graciously, tenderly, lovingly guided the couple to a place that, while not perfect, would suffice for the birth. He offered refuge when the world gave none.
This Christmas, remember that over 60 million people in the world do not have a place to call home. They must experience the inevitabilities of life—childbirth, illness, injury—far removed from the familiar. Their plight isn’t merely an inconvenience, however. It is dangerous and can have grave consequences for all those involved.
As you celebrate the holidays in your home, remember those who have no such place. Send a hygiene kit to a family living in cramped quarters in a refugee camp. Send a blanket to those who can’t find a warm place to land. The smallest of gifts from you will be a monumental blessing to that mother or father or child in need of refuge.
Father, thank you so much for the comfort and security of home. Thank you for providing shelter and care throughout my life. Lord, please comfort, heal, and bring peace to others who can’t be home for Christmas…or perhaps ever. Help these small gifts to be a symbol of the refuge you offer to all in the shadow of Your wings.