Reblog: ‘The Bible is a Refugee Narrative: The Church and Migration’

I have wanted to write something along these lines myself, but here it is done eloquently and succinctly. Thank you, Matt 🙂

The Left Hand of Ehud: Matt's Bible Blog

The Bible is the sweeping story of a refugee people.

It’s sometimes hard to see it as such, when bishops sit in the House of Lords and American evangelicals have access to the corridors of power. But without the stories of liberation from Egypt, and the Exile in Babylon, and the Roman oppression of Israel, the whole narrative of the Scriptures falls apart. Even the words in black and white come to us not from the rarefied atmosphere of some ancient theological powerhouse but from immigrant communities remembering the destruction of their cities, their journey into exile.

And so there’s a direct link across the ages between the antisemitic plots recorded in theBook of Estherand the refugees who arrived in the UK as part of theKindertransport; there’s a link betweenthose fleeing Aleppo and the Book of Lamentations; people looking for economic security and the

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Give a Child a Future

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There are quite a few blog posts floating around my head at the moment, but I have been too busy and/or too tired to actually write them. This is just a quick post to provide a link to the ONE campaign’s petition calling for education for refugees, the following is from an email I received earlier today:

Every child deserves an education. But right now, well over 3 million refugee children aren’t just away from their homes, they’re out of school.

The impact of this is devastating, with children often forced to work and, in some cases, having to agree to child marriages in order to survive.

These children have already lost their homes. They shouldn’t lose their futures, too.

This September, our leaders will be meeting in New York to discuss the global refugee crisis – they need to put education at the heart of that conversation. Sign the petition and let’s help these children get the future they deserve.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for signing.

Without Ceasing

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It’s a clichĂ© to want world peace, is it not? It’s the kind of thing you say if you are ever asked what you would wish for if you had three wishes, like in the fairy tales. But on learning of yet another terrorist attack, this time in Turkey, one has to wonder if there will ever be a time when people stop killing one another and spreading the anti-gospel of fear and hatred.

In my comfortable existence here in the UK, I know how far I am from being able to do anything. Our family are taking part in a sponsored 24 hours without power to raise money for ShelterBox, which supplies refugees with emergency shelter, cooking equipment, etc. It’s not much but it’s something. You can read more here: Off the Grid 

Meantime, let’s pray without ceasing, as Paul wrote in his letter to the Thessalonians. Let’s give thanks for what is being done to help refugees. Let’s pray for the aid workers and the families who have been forced to flee their homes. Let’s pray for those who are caught up in the twisted rhetoric of the Islamic State, that they will come to desire a different way to be, that they will recognise that what they do – the way they kill and steal and destroy, ruling by fear and fear alone – is a terminal spiral into more violence, more death, more evil.

Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. How many times have you done that? We often forget. I forget. I have prayed for the people who abused me, but it’s not easy! It makes me very uncomfortable. I have to ask God to help me to do it. But it’s part of what makes me different than if I had no faith. It’s part of living in and as His image. It’s a reflection of His perfect grace, however imperfectly reflected!

So today, as well as praying for the victims and their families, let’s pray that the hearts and minds of the terrorist groups will be opened, and that they will come to know the love and peace that passes all understanding. Sometimes prayer and love are the only weapons we have. But they’re also the best.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven…”

 Matthew 5:43-45 (NRSVA)

On Refugees and the Murder of an MP

When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress or mistreat him. But the stranger who resides with you shall be to you like someone native-born among you; and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:33, 34 (AMP)

We were all slaves to sin and shame once. Jesus set us free. Let’s remember that the people we meet may never have met Jesus. When they meet us, let His love be the most obvious thing about us.

“You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

Matthew 5:14,15 (AMP)

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The above is all that I was going to post this morning, but I just want to add that my thoughts are with the family of Jo Cox, who was killed yesterday in an unprovoked and almost unprecedented act of violence for the UK. An attack on a Member of Parliament is an attack on democracy itself. So very sad. So many prayers. I pray that there will be some good that emerges from the situation, some light from the darkness, and that the Cox family will know the peace that passes understanding. Although I didn’t know it, Jo Cox campaigned for the Syrian refugees and for those in poverty, so perhaps the post above will be even more appropriate today.

The Least of These: Let’s not turn away vulnerable child refugees

From the UK government petitions website:

The government should accept the call to give sanctuary to child refugees who are alone and at risk in Europe.

95,000 child refugees are on their own in Europe as a result of the refugee crisis. They are sleeping rough and in makeshift camps, desperately vulnerable to abuse and to trafficking into modern slavery. 

We rightly look back with pride at the leadership our nation showed in rescuing 10,000 children from Europe through the Kindertransport. 

Britain must not turn its back on refugees today.

Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/128833

 

Thank you.

Reblog: Iceland and Aylan

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As Christians, who are called to love the weak, to offer shelter to the shelter-less, we must do more. It is not enough to feel sorry for the plight of the refugees. Ask yourself what can I do?

Kingdoms Collide

I have had my next post to write here in my mind for the past couple days and had begun working on it this afternoon when I hopped on to facebook for the first time in almost a full day. I don’t know how frequently it is popping up for others, but with the number of friends I now have living here in Turkey, what I was seeing could not be put off. It would be irresponsible of me not to share what I have been seeing.

First of all, the good news. For a few days now, Iceland has been making the headlines and I have to stand up and applaud the kind and generous hearts of so many families there. A little over a week back, the government there announced that is was willing to take fifty Syrian Refugees. The people knew that they could do far batter…

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