The Lord said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
Abraham was being asked to leave his homeland, his friends, people, ties of origin. Even though God promised to bless him with many things, it took a great deal of faith. And he went as God had directed him.
This passage makes me think of all the refugees who are fleeing their homelands today. Not that God is asking them to leave but rather they are being forced to leave by war and threats to their life. Unlike Abraham and his family they are not being welcomed by countries/people. How is faith sustaining them? Where do they find hope in a future blessed by God? Are they crying out in the psalmist words? “Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield. May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you.”
Paul’s letter to Timothy might also speak to the refugees: “Beloved, Bear your share of hardship from the gospel with the strength that comes from God. God saved us and called us to a holy life. God will bestow grace upon us.” But Paul is also speaking to me. Am I open to receive the grace to speak out for the outcast, the homeless, and the prisoners?
I pray this Lenten season for refugees throughout our world and in our own country who seek asylum and are caught in the web of detention centers and the court system. But I also pray for each of us who are being called to open our doors and to welcome the strangers, the immigrants, the refugees, the outcast. May we be transformed by this BELOVED SON, may we LISTEN TO HIM and come down from our mountaintops and share our homes, our wealth, our bread with those knocking on our doors. May we have the strength and courage to speak up for the rights of all people, regardless of race, creed, color or state of life. Are we willing to be strong in the face of hardship and difficulties trusting in God’s grace and love?
“Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.” Psalm 33:22