My refugee king.

I read a prayer recently that made me want to cry:

“Jesus, my morningstar, my refugee king, my kind and good brother:
please light our path.”

My refugee king.

I could cry at the beauty and humility of a king who becomes a refugee because what other God comes to a place under occupation, to a people without a country? When did the Church become so obsessed with power and privilege and our own security that we forgot that when Jesus was a kid, he was also a refugee?

I feel more and more at odds with the way the Church has bought into the empire. I don’t want to be known for political power or privilege. There is so much hate and fear of people who are different from ourselves. All you have to do is listen to the news or the conversations happening around you. Another hate crime, another closed border, another person clinging to their power and privilege and safety at the expense of others.

So, every Thursday, I hang out with a group of kids in my neighbourhood. This is my resistance to the pull of the empire. This is how I defeat hate and fear of the other. Most of the kids are refugees. They have stories that I struggle to understand, full of tragedy and oppression but also full of hope and resiliency.

It feels small, but I’m starting with my own life because how else do you begin? Right now, it looks like making crafts and playing games. It looks like eating and laughing together, like listening to their music and hearing about their school and families.

I sit with these kids and I think about my refugee king who I love so much I could cry. These kids are like Jesus to me, they know what it’s like to be a kid and a refugee. They know what it’s like to have no political power, what it’s like to be ignored and maligned. They may not know much about my refugee king, but I know they have insight about his kingdom that I need. When I’m with them, the empire loses its hold on me and I can see the kingdom of heaven.

I want to walk this path in the light of my refugee king.

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