“The Fish Net”

   Christmas 2018

Dear Friends,

          This past October while on holidays, Susan and I spent some time in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  While there we stopped by a couple of stores including a large Christmas-themed store and another that sells merchandise imported from the developing world.  Both of these stores had nativity sets and they were all different; some were traditional, one had a South American theme with llamas in the place of camels, while another consisted of bear figurines!  As different as they all were though, they shared one thing in common; they were “warm” and sentimental.

            Now this of course is how many of us like to envision the nativity itself.   Martin Luther’s Christmas hymn captures this well:

The cattle are lowing,

The baby awakes,

But little Lord Jesus,

No crying he makes.

            The nativity scene is so “feel good” but that is only a part of the Christmas story; there is another part that many of us prefer to ignore.  As Matthew tells us, after the departure of the Wise Men:

“An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill him.’”

            This isn’t nearly as “feel good” as the manger scene but this is just as much a part of the Christmas story as the angels and shepherds.  The Holy Family were what we today would call refugees or migrants and I am left to wonder; what would have ever become of Mary, Joseph and even Jesus himself if the Egyptians of the day had built a wall or forbidden entry to these foreigners fleeing for their lives?  What if the Egyptian authorities had barred them entry, labelling them as criminals, terrorists and worse, a threat to Egyptian jobs or the Egyptian way of life?  Yes, the Christmas story is a nice heart-warming sentimental story but its message is also timeless.

Wishing you a most blessed Christmas!



Previous “Fish Net” messages:

Fish Net – Dec.’10

Fish Net – Easter’11

Fish Net – Summer’11

Fish Net – Fall’11

Fish Net – Dec’11

The Fish Net – Easter’12

The Fish Net – Summer’12

Fish Net – Fall’12

Fish Net – Dec.’12

The Fish Net – Easter’13

Fish Net – Pent’13

Fish Net – Fall’13


Fish Net – Easter 2014



Fish Net – Christmas 2014


Fish Net – Pentecost2015

The Fish Net – Fall 2015

The Fish Net – Dec2015

The Fish Net – Easter2016

The Fish Net – Spring 2016



The Fish Net – Lent 2017

The Fish Net – Pentecost2017

The Fish Net – Fall 2017

The Fish Net – Christmas 2017

The Fish Net – Lent 2018

The Fish Net – Summer 2018

The Fish Net – Fall 2018

The Fish Net – Christmas2018