I wonder what it must be like to be a refugee? … a long way from home and maybe without any prospect of ever returning? It must be awful to live in flimsy accommodation as an unwanted “guest” in a foreign land and treated with suspicion and mistrust.
Refugees are so often vilified – not that people aren’t sympathetic to their plight – it’s just that no-one really seems to want them!
This was the plight of the holy family two thousand years ago. They had to flee brutal persecution and live in Egypt for a while. We don’t know what life was like for Mary and Joseph, but they will have experienced some of the difficulties of modern day refugees.
We can say, from the safety of our “castles”: “it shouldn’t happen” – but it does and is likely to go on whilst ever human kind exists and whilst ever wars and natural disasters continue to happen – so how about us rising to a more positive attitude?
15th-21st June is Refugee Week and this year’s theme is: Celebrate! The organisers want to encourage us to celebrate our diversity and all that each of us can bring to our communities and places of work and socialisation. Rather than suspicion and mistrust, we as Christians should be taking a lead in building bridges and finding common ground. There is so much to be gained in learning from each other.
Many of the heroes of the Bible (Abraham, Moses, Daniel, etc) were strangers in a foreign land – but God brought great blessing through their lives. As and when people of different cultures and experiences come among us – may we be ready to welcome and received from them in a true spirit of generous humanity.
Talking of which, we look forward to welcoming Bishop Geoff, who is coming to Madeley and Betley on Mon 22nd and Tuesday 23rd June. He will be our guest of honour at a Joint BBQ (6.30pm) at The Old Vicarage, Madeley. Bishop Geoff will be meeting all of the young people in our local schools and sharing some of his life experiences. Please do join him and us.