I hope this adds to your thinking.
By: Kelsey Morgan
There has been a lot of talk lately about the Syrian crisis. I have been just as appalled as everyone else at the news concerning the refugees from Syria. There is such a mixture of fear, apprehension, and pity coming from people as they respond to this situation that it is hard to wade through my own feelings about it. I do relate. There is fear, fear of the unknown, fear of the “other”, fear that “they” will bring danger with them. The apprehension is justified. The pity is deep and emotional as I look at the pictures of drowned children, expressionless faces of frigid families in boats, and hear the relief workers’ stories coming from the front lines.
I am also mightily challenged as I look to the Bible and pray to my Jesus for answers, which are slow in coming. But here is what I do know: that God longs to be in relationship with me and with all people. I have done nothing to warrant this, it is God instigated and God carried out. He has done it all…I can choose to enter into the life that he offers or not. Period. And I have chosen to enter in, so now I have to daily accept the grace that God gives me and bestow that same grace to others.
How does this translate into the current predicament we find ourselves in? I am talking about the potential influx of the “other”. The certain immigration of Syrians into the U.S.A. is freaking people out. Governors are squawking about it, people are taking sides, and the news media is playing it for all it’s worth. How does the grace of God, given to me so freely, translate into this situation?
First there must be a recognition of the truth: they are coming. Governors can protest, but they are coming. Syrian refugees are on their way. The sooner we reconcile ourselves the better, for everyone involved. Wherever you find yourself on the issue, they are coming. But maybe this is not an invasion so much as an opportunity. Maybe this will be the largest opportunity to reach a people group that has never heard the good news of Christ we’ve had in decades. Maybe you don’t even have to leave your home town to become a missionary, because its going to be in your own back yard. The “other” has come to us. Maybe this is an opportunity.
I am part of the big “C” Church and so my question is, in light of the reality that this is happening and “they” are coming, how is the Church going to respond? What are we doing now to get ready? Can this be an opportunity for the Kingdom of God to extend? What face, as the Church, are we going to present to the homeless, hopeless women and children (the majority of refugees) who enter into our country? How might we best extend ourselves practically? Yes, I know that there is reason to be afraid, but we serve a God who gave his life for us because he “so loved the WORLD”. Because God extended himself for us and to us, coming as a human being into our hostile, dirty, hopeless world. Because we are the hands and feet of Jesus.
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Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!