Thursday, 3 September 2015

God revealed in us.

So this week our news and social media is crowded with images that assault our senses. Pictures of children lying dead on a beach. My mind wants to rush passed them, not to ignore the issue but to lessen the trauma. I have three children and like most parents we picture our own kids there.

There has been a debate raging on how we define the people that this involves. Are they migrants or are they refugees. I do understand that language is powerful and we have to be careful how we describe groups but whatever name we use to describe them is yet another way of making them less like us. That wasn’t a refugee or a migrant lying on the beach, it was a child, somebody’s son or daughter. Someone’s brother or sister. The people fleeing are first and foremost PEOPLE. 

Like you and I.

They were neighbours, they were school children, shopkeepers, builders, plumbers, entrepreneurs, grandmothers, unemployed. They were Arsenal, Man United, Newcastle, Man City fans. They loved to cook, eat McDonalds, feel the sun on their face, splash about in puddles. 

They were like you and I.

As a follower of Christ I have prayed and sung “God break my heart for what breaks yours.” This breaks God’s heart. Therefore my heart, your heart, our hearts should be broken.

Don’t get lost in the political arguments and counter-arguments. Don’t succumb to the headlines about the very small minority who may be playing the system. These are people who are in need. Jesus was asked the question “Who is my neighbour” He answered with a story of two men who were least like each other yet one went out of his way to meet the other’s need. 

It cost him. 
It inconvenienced him.

If it were us, how would we want to be treated by people. The Bible is clear on how we treat and welcome the stranger. A stranger isn’t someone who is not like us, they are just someone we haven’t met and become friends with yet. That person is made in the image of God, the same as you and I. 

That means we are alike.

Jesus also tells us in Luke 14 that we should invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind in and we ourselves will be blessed because of that. This will inconvenience us and possibly cost us financially as individuals and maybe as a country. But we should be prepared to pay the cost, its what makes us human. 

It’s the God nature being revealed in us.