“An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’” —Matthew 2:13
The diaspora is the dispersion, or scattering, of any peoples from their original homeland. Some diaspora peoples are drawn away from home by exciting opportunities for a better life. Others flee to escape tragic situations like persecution, war or famine. Ethnic groups move around the world like never before. Did you know that immigrants, refugees and international students make up nearly 14% of the US population?
Some of our beloved Christmas traditions—things like decorating the tree, putting up the manger scene, singing carols—might feel particularly strange for diaspora peoples but are also fun and natural opportunities to tell the story of Jesus. How might God help you welcome the diaspora peoples in your midst this Christmas?
Start by caring enough to reach out. It’s amazing how a simple conversation can transform new neighbors into cherished friends. Ask questions. What are their holiday traditions? Their hopes? Their dreams? Their fears and joys? Invite them to your home for a Christmas party or a carol sing and explain the stories behind the traditions. These simple gestures might be a doorway into deeper conversations about the God who “became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 [MSG]).