“The women of Moab are left like homeless birds at the shallow crossings of the Arnon River. ‘Help us,’ they cry. ‘Defend us against our enemies. Protect us from their relentless attack. Do not betray us now that we have escaped…’”
Isaiah 16:2-4 (NLT)
What comes to mind when we see or hear of refugees?
We like to make connections to what we have experienced or know of, and, for me, when I see the almost daily references to refugees on the international news, I think of a refugee church that my wife and I visited. We flew on a Raytheon Beech 1900c Airliner from Nairobi to Lokichoggio in northern Kenya, which was followed by a one-hour dusty car drive and a 15-minute bike-taxi ride to our first congregation in Kakuma. The UN camp was in a remote location, hidden from the world’s everyday view. It seemed overcrowded, bustling with refugees from East and Central African conflicts, most of them afraid to return to their own countries. The only thing that was certain for them was the uncertainty that lay ahead of them.
For a brief time in his life Jesus was a refugee. His parents took him and they fled in order to escape Herod’s slaughter of the innocents. Perhaps when, on the TV news, we see a mother fleeing with a child in her arms, we can commit them to Jesus, who identifies with them, and whose compassion and empathy never fails.
In the leading Scripture Isaiah highlights the plight of refugees. They are like birds without nests, defenseless in the face of those who would do them harm.
Care about such refugees, Isaiah says, knowing that the Kingdom of God “will be established in steadfast love” (Isaiah 16:5 ESV).
Father, we pray for Jesus to return in his steadfast love, and, as we await his coming, stir up his Spirit within us that we may care for the refugees and outcasts. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This weekend James is speaking in our Reading congregation. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.