Saturday, December 12, 2015

Refugees—a crisis or…?

Refugee Crisis - silhouetted refugees against a yellow background
Graphic from
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Philippians 2:12-29

TO CHEW ON: "For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus."  Philippians 2:21

As I write this, the world is still in the thick of the Syrian refugee crisis. Justin Trudeau made a promise during the recent election campaign to take in 25,000 by year's end. Now that he's our Prime Minister, he's beginning to make good on that promise.

Not surprisingly, the media is full of chatter about this. Social media too. Often I see in my Facebook updates links to articles, and images designed to make me afraid of what an influx of refugees will do to our country. And there's no question the thousands refugees that pundits project will be settled in B.C., mostly the Lower Mainland where I live, will put a strain on schools, hospitals, medical facilities, organizations who integrate newcomers, not to speak of where will they all live and the biggie: ARE THEY SAFE?! Or by inviting them in, are we opening ourselves up to terrorist attacks like France experienced on November 13th?

I easily get swept up into this line of thinking and yet something about it troubles me deeply. That's why, when I saw the article title: "Building His Church in a Refugee Crisis" on my Twitter stream last night, I clicked through. What a breath of fresh air—scented with the fragrance of Christ—is this piece by David Crabb on John Piper's Desiring God blog. Here are a few choice bits:

    "What if, while America was asking questions about safety and risk management, Christians were asking, What is God doing? What if, through the senseless evil of civil war, God was bringing unreached people groups to our cities? What if, through great tragedy, God was bringing about the triumph of the gospel?
    Syria has over twenty million Muslims in eighteen unreached people groups. Christian missionaries have spent years praying, strategizing, and risking everything to go to these people. Now, God is bringing them here.
    ...One of the things that hinders Christian witness most is simply that the primary voice speaking in our heads, influencing our thoughts, and determining our behavior is not the Bible, but media pundits....   
    How would we view Muslims if we were steeped in God’s words so that we were thinking his thoughts after him? What would be our perspective on the refugee crisis if the Bible, and not our favorite news channel, was guiding our thoughts and directing our behavior?" (emphasis added - article linked below*).

So this morning, when I read in Philippians: "For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus," I can't help but look at myself in the mirror and feel convicted: 'That's been you, sister, seeing this crisis from a human, not a Jesus perspective, listening to the wrong voices!'

With God's help I'm going to do better with my thoughts and prayers about this refugee crisis and with whatever else is going on in my country, province, city, family…

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to become steeped in Your thoughts so that the thoughts and fears of the world would seem the foreign ones. Help me to be open to what You would do through me as I "…seek … the things which are of Jesus Christ." Amen. 

*Read the article "Building His Church in a Refugee Crisis".

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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