Blog: World Refugee Day – Why Every Jesus Follower Should Care
Today is World Refugee Day – click here to see what the United Nations is doing and how you can be involved. Here is an article from the World Economic Forum blog that Chris Sieple, a good friend wrote.
I remember the first time I saw masses of refugees, I was in Afghanistan. We came up on a tent city that spread out for miles. There were huge families living inside little tents. There was limited food, water, education, play areas for children – it was sad. Yet, when we entered the area we were immediately swarmed by people that were starving for help, relationships, and hope. Not long ago I was saddened by what I saw first hand in Gaza, as the UN tried to help children who had limited access to education, health, sports – to see others from both sides try to disrupt it for political purposes. In Dallas-Fort Worth we have refugees from all over the world: Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Palestine, Congo, Syria – you name it they are probably here. There are so many refugees in the world today and migration taking place that it can dull our senses – but it shouldn’t.
The Bible is a story of nomads or as John Bunyan would say, pilgrims. The whole idea from Adam, Abraham, Noah, David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jesus, Paul . . . was that God loves everyone and wants there to be peace on earth, but never to forget that there is an eternal home, that this earth is temporary and will not last, but our eternal home with God is where we are headed. Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God . . .13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore god is not ashamed to be called their God; for he has prepared a city for them.”(NASB)
People are commanded in the Bible to treat everyone with respect, especially the “alien” or the “wanderer” or the “homeless” person. One sign of knowing God is how you treat others – who can escape Matthew 25.
Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”(NASB)
If we know our home is heaven, if we know we are to let heaven be unleashed on earth – then let every single one of us reach out in love and serve every single human being. All life is sacred – all life comes from God – Jesus loves every single person on the face of the earth – as his children, we must as well. It’s good for us to pray for the suffering and hurting – it’s better to join God and put our prayers into action. Prayer is not a substitute or an excuse for inaction, but the base from which all divine activity flows. So, pray – then get up – and move those chunky legs.
Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.