“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.“ -Jesus in Matthew 7:12
There are refugees all around the world, but the Syrian refugee crisis is the largest ever. It makes my heart sink so much. I have been tweeting and explaining their crisis to others for two years.
I can’t believe that I hear so many Christians wanting to push away refugees at all. I believe God would want us to welcome them, for Exodus 22 & 23 even states to treat the sojourner/foreigner well, for we were all sojourners at one time (and unless you were born a Native in the US, your family was also a sojourner here at one time too).
Jesus was born in an occupied area by Romans and baby boys were being hunted and killed during that time. There were probably many people who left their homes to seek safety for their children. Jesus’ earthly father Joseph and his mother Mary went to Egypt to live for a few years before they even returned to their home. His very first memories would have been as a refugee. [Matthew 2]
Syrians have had a war torn home in the past few years. They fear for their lives. They are scared and wish they could go back home, but if no one welcomes them at all, they will die. Although I don’t have a house of my own (we rent in a duplex) I would love to be able to open my home to refugees if my landlord allowed it. We may not have much room, but it is better than seeing them on the streets.
Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan, who was a person that Jewish people looked down on because they were pretty much “half breeds” (Jewish and Gentile). Yet it was the hated person who helped the battered man on the side of the street. The holiest men (the Levi and the Priest) completely ignored the person who was robbed and abused, yet someone decided to show compassion and love, caring for the man until he was well, and he was the least likely of people thought to do so.[Luke 10]
Would you want people to help you if you were in their shoes (if they even have them, for that matter, wouldn’t you want them to help give you shoes and somewhere to stay and feel safe)? I know I would hope that someone would be kind to my family if we were suffering as many refugees do.
I saw pictures today of Syrian refugee children who were on the streets sleeping. Jesus said that we are to allow children to go to him because theirs is the kingdom of heaven, yet we allow these sweet babies to sleep on the street? They are more worthy of heaven than anyone, yet there they rest, crying each night as they try to sleep. Jesus said to not hinder children, yet Christians are turning them away. [Matthew 19:14]
Matthew 25:31-46 is amazing. Jesus basically says that on the final day of judgement he is going to separate people NOT by groups of nations, yet all nations will be present, but categorized into “sheep” and “goats”. He will separate them as those who are blessed (the sheep) by the Father because they gave Jesus, their king, a reason for doing right: something to eat when he was hungry, something to drink when he was thirsty, something to wear when he was naked, welcomed him when he was a stranger, and visited him when he was a prisoner or was sick. Those who receive this blessing will be confused because they didn’t see Jesus in physical form, but he lets them know that when they did help those in need, they were helping him. The same applies here for refugees who are indeed strangers. What happens to those who did nothing (the goats) and even those who said they were worshipers of Christ but refused to do such kind things for others ? He said since they completely ignored his teachings by ignoring those who should be treated as they should have treated him, they receive no eternal life, and instead receive eternal punishment. That should keep us all on our toes.
“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,‘ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well.” -James 2:1-8
A temporary way to help by donating to organizations:
- World Help: Refugee Relief
- MCC’s Refugee help
- Refugees International
- Refugee Action
- UN Refugees
- International Refugee Assistance Project
- International Refugee Committee