Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” —Ruth 2:11-12
As we have been reflecting in our current sermon series on how Ruth left her homeland and took refuge under the wings of the Lord, let us consider how we can help provide refuge for the strangers and sojourners in our world. Check out this post by Sarah Bartley.
After five years of civil war in Syria, literally millions of Syrian children have never witnessed peacetime. On this side of the world, we’ve seen the pictures and heard the stories of people fleeing war for their very lives.
Christian leaders are calling for the Church across the globe to take direct action by hosting refugees. Why? Because the world faces the worst refugee crisis since World War II. And the Church has always been for the stranger. From early on in the history of Israel, God reminds His people to care for sojourners because they were once foreigners in an unfamiliar land. We do well to remember who in our own spiritual heritage were refugees: Moses, the Apostle John, Jesus himself. MORE
Ann Voskamp, World Relief, and The Justice Conference are teaming up to rally congregations to take action. You can read more about their inspiring call and join them at WeWelcomeRefugees.com.
A number of families at NSCBC have organized a personal response as well. For the month of October we have been in the midst of an economic fast. This will enable us to give an offering to support refugee families and churches located in receiving countries…while also reminding us to pray for refugee families more actively.
How does it work? Each of us select something to cut out of our family budgets for the month of October. At the end of the month we add up the value and make a donation, together. There are lots of ideas and reflections on our 31-Day-Challenge Tumblr at http://31daychallenge-nscbc.tumblr.com/.
We are actively working with our denomination, Converge, to identify a way our church can partner with other churches to make a difference in the lives of refugees being welcomed and served by churches there. More information is soon to come on that. In the mean time, if you would like to join us, contact Beth Melillo or Sarah Bartley.
In Matthew 25 Jesus reminds us that when we welcome a stranger, we welcome him. I can think of no greater honor or responsibility for the time and money God has entrusted to me. Find more reflections through the end of October at http://31daychallenge-nscbc.tumblr.com/.