Couple Seeks Safety

Song by Brian McLaren

Not Welcome Here

A couple showed up last Sunday at church
They hoped we could help in their spiritual search
Their marriage is legal but our leaders say
It’s morally wrong so they sent them away and said …
Not welcome here, Not welcome here.
We have our beliefs to which we adhere
It’s a dangerous world. There’s much we should fear
So people like you are not welcome here.

A family showed up at border control
We want our kids to be safe. They said. That is our goal.
We’re homeless and hungry and frightened and poor
And our country is ravaged by hatred and war. We said
Not welcome here, not welcome here
How do we know if you are sincere?
It’s a dangerous world. There’s much we should fear
So people like you are not welcome here.

A couple rode in from some other town.
The woman was pregnant. They both looked worn down.
You know how things are. What else could I say?
I shut the door tight and sent them away.
Not welcome here. Not welcome here.
You know times are tough. Please don’t interfere.
It’s a dangerous world. There’s much we should fear.
So people like you are not welcome here.
Sometimes I wonder how it would be
If the tables were turned and instead it was me
A different religion or color of skin
A refugee hoping to be welcomed in …
You’re welcome here. You’re welcome here.
You’re safe here with us. You have nothing to fear.
It’s a dangerous world, but be of good cheer.
There’s a place here for you, and you’re welcome here.
You can hear the song and read about it here.

 

Saint Joseph Seeks a Lodging in Bethlehem, James Tissot, 1886-1894, Brooklyn Museum of Art

Saint Joseph Seeks a Lodging in Bethlehem, James Tissot, 1886-1894, Brooklyn Museum of Art

 

About Tissot’s painting:

In the biblical narrative, Mary and Joseph live in Nazareth but must journey to Bethlehem, the ancestral home of Joseph’s family, to be counted in a census imposed by the Romans. On their arrival in the town, Joseph searches for lodgings without success. Tissot contrasts Joseph’s anxious plea—calling up to townspeople in hopes of finding accommodation—with the Virgin Mary’s quiet resignation.

Tissot’s expeditions to the Middle East in the 1880s provided rich source material for his watercolor compositions. The thick masonry walls and labyrinthine alleys of Jaffa, an ancient port city near modern Tel Aviv in Israel, serve here, with minor revisions, as the backdrop of Bethlehem.

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2 thoughts on “Couple Seeks Safety

  1. hermitsdoor says:

    We have been conducting a debate this season about whether Mary road a donkey to Bethlehem. This painting suggest she did. I have been holding out that the donkey did not show up (in art at least) until they fled to Egypt. But, even for that scene I do not find a direct reference to donkeys. The other Jesus and the Donkey reference I can think of is when he enters Jerusalem on a donkey at the beginning of Passion week. (We are not actually being to literal here… just curious when traditions began)
    Oscar

    Like

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