The words of Jesus:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
(Photo of Syrian refugees, photographer unknown to me)
Forgive me for a political post – but these days feel like historically crucial times.
You might disagree, but to my understanding and it seems many other people of faith, prioritizing certain groups while excluding others, was not and is not the way of Jesus. As much as we love and want to protect those we share such a special bond with. It is natural, and human to (perhaps even unintentionally) form our own little ‘clans’ so to speak, according to our common cultural background or interests.
But there are dangers in that. Because every single person matters and needs to be seen. Every person’s story is worthy of being listened to; and their situation and needs should be carefully considered. One group of people is not “better” than “the rest.”
The religious establishment of Jesus’ time did not even embrace Jesus himself. They seemingly kept missing the point, when you really read what he actually said and did. He very much shook up the religious “elite.”
In fact, he got killed for teaching and living out a radical, unconditional love that interacted with and invited everyone. That is exactly too what drew people from all walks of life to him, to this day. I believe that only accepting refugees who (somehow need to prove) they are Christian, is very un-Christlike. Christ wouldn’t say: “Christians first!” He asks us to welcome the stranger, help the vulnerable, etc. etc. etc.
Come to think of it, Jesus’ own family would have been refused: being Middle Eastern; most likely darker-skinned, and Jewish. Not “Christian” as that concept did not even exist yet.
As Christian leaders, there is a letter one can sign. I obviously am not, otherwise I would. Maybe we should write a letter we can all sign…