At a recent carol service at St Mark’s Church Leamington Spa the Bishop of Coventry spoke to us about refugee families.
Referring to the current crisis across Europe he drew a parallel between these refugees and the family of Jesus.
Jesus was born into poverty in an occupied nation in a region in conflict – then, as now. A couple of years after his birth his family took him and fled from a brutal tyrant into a foreign land – Egypt.
The Bishop spoke of those refugees who have arrived at their destination with nothing – all their money has been taken from them by people smugglers.
Then he put forward this notion.
“Did Joseph and Mary have to use their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to pay people smugglers?”
Was that how the gifts of the Magi were used?
It may well be.
At the very least the gold they received may have saved their lives. For how do you flee across borders and gain safety and security in another country until the tyranny in your own country has passed – unless you have significant financial resources?
Or another kind of gold entirely – the kindness, compassion and good will of the host countries.