“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” is what the King in Jesus’ parable in Matthew chapter 25 says to those he welcomes to his Heavenly reign. Perplexed about hearing what they apparently had done for the King, they inquire: “when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you?” To which the King responds: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
In the context of over 65 million refugees and displaced people globally, Jesus’ parable becomes alive in the reality that so many local churches witness right in their own neighbourhoods. Facing an unknown future, those fleeing war, persecution and famine often struggle with fear, insecurity and trauma in addition to lacking basic needs such as food and shelter.
The World Refugee Sunday is an opportunity for churches to reflect on the practical implications of the numerous Biblical stories where people were displaced and in need of refuge because of conflict, natural disasters or persecution, among the many others: Jacob, Moses, David, Peter, John, and even our Lord Jesus in His infancy.
“God’s repeated call throughout Scripture to care for the widow, the orphan and the alien, coupled with Jesus identifying himself with the hungry, the thirsty and the stranger compels us as believers today to respond courageously and generously to the foreigners we may meet at our doorsteps,” said Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA.
To find out more, visit refugeehighway.net/world-refugee-sunday.html today.
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is a sponsor of World Refugee Sunday on June 17 and 24