February 19, 2017
Text: Matthew 5:38-48
You have heard it said, be afraid and retaliate. But Jesus indicates that life is not a cause and effect design, but a complex web of “right” relationships (righteousness and reconciliation). You have heard it said, love only those who are like you and keep out newcomers. But Jesus says to love all and pray for all. “God sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness. The sun rises on the good and evil.”
Refugees flee their national boundaries from violence or persecution and cannot return home safely. Refugees seek security, a new normal in their lives, and hope for the future. In the conflicts in Syria and the Middle East, refugees are not the problem of instability but the victims of violence. In the unprecedented expansion of forcibly displaced people throughout the world, the victims are not the problem; human relationships with each other and with the world are the problem.
The young woman at the end of this video communicates this reality poignantly. The UCC’s One Great Hour of Sharing-supported ministries provide support for refugees.