Some readers may know that my birthday is Christmas Day, so I usually like to keep it low key and on a lighter note. This year, since my column falls on The Day, I decided to write about something more serious, probably the most forgotten part of the Bible though a central theme of the ancient narrative: seeking refuge. Stories of refugees woven together, intersecting in the land of Egypt. An African land where escape became necessary, where liberation became critical. Where both faith and freethought were born. Africa–a place to flee from, and to flee to.
If you celebrate Christmas: Merry Christmas to you!
Today is the Solstice, so to everyone else I say: Have a Shining Solstice Season!
Here’s an excerpt from this weekend’s column:
African Nativity: Stories of Refuge and Refugees
“When people of faith forget where they came from, the lands they left by choice or by force, forgetting their own refugee status in history, something happens to their faith-story. Biblical religions began with people searching for refuge, shelter, sanctuary. Though some have turned that story into a spiritual pilgrimage to a sanctuary in the sky, to personal salvation, those original refuge-seekers were in communal crisis, on the move for a place to belong, a space to freely practice their beliefs. Tradition consists of one group of refugees handing down their story to a new generation of refugees.
A courageous collective memory urges us to connect those ancient stories to the plight of those in flight today, those severed from sanctuary and security. We can honor the old stories by weaving loose threads, creating safety nets for the most vulnerable.”
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