70.8 million people around the world are currently refugees. They have been forced to flee from their homes because of violence, persecution, and war. As Christians, we are called to love and help them. They are what the Bible calls “the strangers among us.”
The call to help these refugees in need is biblically founded, not just a nice thought or a principle of social justice. Jesus demonstrated this by becoming a refugee Himself, fleeing with His parents to Egypt to escape persecution from King Herod.
In the Old Testament, Leviticus 19:34 says “treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you and … love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”.
In the New Testament, Our Lord tells the parable of the Good Samaritan to give us an example of caring for and loving those whom society rejects.
Finally, in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus says that when we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and those in prison, we are doing it to Him. When we fail to do those things, we fail to serve Him. Jesus puts this in the strongest terms possible: if we neglect to do this we will not inherit the Kingdom. “Then He will answer, “In truth, I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me. And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.”
We as Christians are called to show God’s love to the most vulnerable in their hour of need. Government assistance can only help so much. The current refugee crisis creates opportunities for Christians to reach out and demonstrate the love of Christ. This means not only offering financial assistance but also praying for and welcoming these refugees whose entire lives have been turned upside down.
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