The global refugee crisis can seem overwhelming – what can we do? Before reacting out of fear, let’s look at what the Bible says concerning our response to refugees and immigrants.
- Live Differently: After 400 years living as refugees in Egypt, the Israelites knew oppression by foreign leaders. But God asked for something different – Are we remembering our own times of pain and suffering when responding to the needs of others?
- Be Generous: In Leviticus we find instructions for offering food and clothing to refugees and immigrants. We are to be fair and to care for them, often using our own resources.
- Be a Neighbor: The apostle Paul in Galatians reminds us of the often quoted, but rarely enacted “Great Commandment: Love your neighbors as yourself.” Jesus made it clear, our neighbor is everyone, especially those in need (Luke 10:25-37). When it comes to refugees and immigrants living in our communities, are we loving them as neighbors? Are we loving them as we love ourselves?
- Be Loving: Jesus came to earth not only to show us who God is, not just to teach us how to live, but most importantly – to give His life for us. Jesus turned an unjust death on the cross into the most incredible news the world could ever know – for everyone. For you and me and for every refugee.
Jesus is calling us to follow His example when it comes to caring for refugees and immigrants by demonstrating the love and good news of the Gospel. How do we do that? It can take many forms – but it often starts with acts of generosity, with love, and by simply being a neighbor.