30,000 people were uprooted every day in 2019. *Source
Be silent for a moment and consider:
Have you ever been in a situation where you knew everything was likely to change in a moment, but you had little to no control over when or how it would happen?
How did you feel?
It is very easy to take safety and stability for granted when we have it.
But those who have lived through war, terror, deep poverty, displacement, or family or community break-down know the fear and uncertainty of everything being thrown into chaos in a moment. There are millions of people around the world living with the knowledge that any day, any minute, they might have to gather their family, grab what they can, and leave behind everything they know.
We have already seen how Mary and Joseph had to journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for Caesar’s census. Then comes a sentence which is easy to overlook when we read it but impossible to ignore in real life: “And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.” (Luke 2:6)
Women in late-stage pregnancy often hear and repeat the phrase: “Any day now!” And when the time for labour comes, it comes, and there is no stopping it. From that moment on everything changes in the short-term and long-term. It is normally a joyous occasion, but it is also fraught with uncertainty, fear, and pain.
It is a marvel that the Author of Creation entered the world through such a normal, yet frightening and dangerous, process as childbirth. Think of it: Mary’s water broke, she started getting contractions, the child she had been awaiting for nine months – and that Creation had been anticipating for much longer – was suddenly on his way, and everything was about to change. Jesus’ birth was at the same time the most commonly experienced thing amongst all humans, and the most unique thing to every happen.
Each of the 30,000 people who were uprooted in 2019 experienced something both increasingly common and entirely unique. They may have been waiting anxiously for it to happen, may have planned their exit for months, or it may have come upon them with the suddenness of labour pains. But their lives changed in that moment.
Read: Luke 2:1-7
Prayer: Sit in silence for a minute. Reflect on the fact that roughly 30 people are newly uprooted every minute. Consider what such an “uprooting” would look like in your life. Pray that uprooted people would know the comfort of Jesus in their transitions. Pray that your faith would be strengthened to carry you through life’s transitions, and to be a help to others who have been newly uprooted.
Our vision is to help people survive and recover from forced displacement. We do this together with the church, both globally, and locally in Canada.