Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Masterworks Series: Flight into Egypt


Our Lord, allow us to welcome the stranger and treat them kindly. Allow us to see that the stranger can benefit us. Allow us to see that the stranger can benefit those from where they came.  Ameen.
                                             ~ Sarah Joseph, OBE*
It seems we are always looking back to Egypt.
We suffer our kings;
Tentatively we give them admiration
While doing our best to stay out of their way.
Our rulers give us hope
That God will bless our land,
Yet more often they are the reason
We hope for better days.

Leaving Bethlehem by night
With my wife and son,
We cast ourselves upon
The mercy of the open road.

Fleeing one tyrant
For memories of another,
We take refuge in the land
That was abundant in wealth and oppression
For our forebears.
Rootless and homeless
We have only family for support
And the strength of our hands
For a day’s wage.

Living as refugees,
Moving from overlord to overlord,
We will make our way.
Longing for home and
Grieving for a land
Once filled with life and song
Now turned deadly.

Trees offer their fruits
As we stop to rest,
Reminding us that the earth is gracious
Even when the land is stolen and divided by kings.

Sojourning in a strange land
We will hold on to the goodness of the earth
Waiting for old kings to die;
Waiting for the time of singing.

In the meantime
We will join with the downtrodden
And dwell with the outcast
Seeking refuge together.
Perhaps we will find a place
In the shadows of the empire
To sing our songs of hope.

                                      ~ CK

*    *    *

* From Sarah Joseph's BBC Radio Prayer for the Day, 23 July 2015

Image: "The Rest on the Flight into Egypt" at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Artist: Gerard David (Netherlandish, 1460-1523)
Medium: Oil on panel
Date: c.1510

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