Recently our new government promised to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada before 2016. Since the terrible killigs in France and the fear of individual militants, some people have reservations. As Christians I do not think we should fear; we are people with hope in our hearts and we must show that by our actions. Our government says there will be careful screening and they will go ahead.
I have a friend in London Ontario, the Rev.Canon Kevin George who heads up an Anglican Parish. His congregation under his keen guidance are preparing to help a new Syrian refugee family which I think is wonderful.Here are some of his words.
“I believe that we who are members of the church need to place our voice in the public square as a people who support Refugee Resettlement. I am heartened by the response from so many Christian Communities across Canada who have done the work necessary to rescue Syrian Families from the terror that they have been living. I can include St Aidan’s in that group, as well as the Deanery of London. Our church community has begun the work to bring two families here. Our Deanery is ready to also begin work for our first two families.
We have a strong history in being a people who offer sanctuary and help to refugees. Perhaps the church is so compelled because Jesus himself was a refugee. We have plenty of reason to reach out, to be welcoming, and to be hospitable.
I read a piece entitled What the Bible Says About How to Treat Refugees on Relevant Magazine’s webpage, In it they list twelve passages of scripture that address how we as a people of God ought to be present to those who need help, those who are without a place to call home. It was well done – so here they are some” that I, Jane chose.
God Loves the Foreigner Residing Among You
‘He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.’ (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)
‘So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against…those who deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty. ‘(Malachi 3:5)
And Jesus tells us clearly to invite the Stranger In
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:25-36) For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)
There are more if you wish to find them and read Canon Kevin’s blog at http://canonkevin.com/2015/11/18/scripture-and-refugees/
We can do no better that the way Jesus showed us: to love our neighbours and even our enemies, do good, be compassionate and help all we can. These very refugees could be an asset to our country; they are often well educated and will value our peaceful democracy. We have put it off too long. Too many are suffering, hungry and sick. Let us try to help as long as we are able. The benefits for us all may amaze us and we will grow in Christ too through loving actions.
To do this we need to be understanding of other cultures not ignore and fear them; that would be a sin. Let’s return to pray as God promised (in 2 Chron.2:14.”If my people, whom I have called by my name, will humble themselves, pr ay, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” AMEN