If you’ve paid attention to the news recently, you’ll know that there is a humanitarian crisis spreading across the Middle East and Europe. Millions of people are being displaced from their homes in Syria and Iraq because of political and religious unrest and persecution.
The numbers are absolutely staggering:
While we in North America are confronted with these enormous numbers representing people who are clinging to survival and are inundated with pictures of children and families taking great risks to escape the violence, our first response can be one of paralysis. We may think, ‘how can we possibly make a difference?’
Yes, the scale of this crisis is beyond pale which makes it tempting to give up before taking any action. But the good news we as followers of Jesus cling to is this: our God created this world, is bigger than it, is active in it, and continues to love and redeem it. It can seem like nothing could possibly make a difference to this situation: it is out of control and unstoppable. Throughout history, God has intervened in precisely these moment—perhaps not when or as we think he ought but nonetheless He has been at work and is at work.
But the good news we as followers of Jesus cling to is this: our God created this world, is bigger than it, is active in it, and continues to love and redeem it.
Whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for God’s Kingdom to come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That is precisely how we should pray for Syria, for the refugees, and for those accepting the displaced people. May God’s Kingdom—that upside Kingdom where the rich and powerful of this world bow at the name of Jesus—come and be established in the villages, towns, and cities of Syria. And may God’s Kingdom come and be established in the hearts and minds of those who are in a position to help (especially the western world) that we might boldly open our doors to the poor of this world.
So what can we possibly do?
For more information, check out these resources:
Canadian Lutheran World Relief- http://clwr.donorshops.com/product/685132A/syrianrefugeerelief.php
Mennonite Central Committee- http://mcc.org/learn/more/syria-iraq-crisis-response
Top Photo: IHH: Humanitarian Relief Foundation. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ihhinsaniyardimvakfi/9577266320. Used under Creative Commons License.
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Pastor J-M shares some occasional thoughts and musings on our life together as followers of Christ. The views are his own.