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Why We Must Care about the Refugee

· Refugee,love,Church

“There is no favoritism with him.”

If you were with us at church last Sunday, you might recall these words from our Scripture reading in Ephesians. When Paul addressed masters of slaves, he spoke of their responsibility to treat slaves with respect, because, while society might see a pecking order between individuals, God does not. All people, however low or high, are of equal worth to God, who is God of them all.

This is part of why we Christians take the life of the unborn so seriously. Not only are those who are in the womb real people; they are children who belong to God, people whom God loves in the very same way he loves the rest of humanity. And so it is our calling to speak out on their behalf, seeking their protection in the midst of their extreme vulnerability.

And the very same truth is why we as Christians must be concerned about the welfare of the refugees, many of whom are fleeing terrible conditions. It is why the Hinsdale congregation has been partnering with World Relief in the resettlement of refugees. Because these people, also extremely vulnerable, belong to God, with whom there is no favoritism. We, as the body of Christ, are called to “extend” Christ’s love to them.

This is why today I feel discouraged by the likelihood that the current political administration will completely stop receiving refugees for the next 4 months and then significantly curtail their entry beyond that point. We are in a time when terrorism has instilled much fear in our country, and it is appropriate for us to consider carefully how we as a nation can be more secure. But it would be a tragedy if our fear so changed us that our country could no longer say to the world, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

It would be an even greater tragedy if we, the Church, allowed ourselves to deny our identity and become apathetic to their plight. When the Roe vs Wade decision came out in the 1970’s, the Evangelical and Catholic church came together to mobilize and stand up for the unborn. We may be finding ourselves at a similar point in history. Our calling, I believe, is to pray and to wait watchfully, looking to see what opportunities God might be giving us to stand with the refugees, whom he loves.

 

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