I wonder if God is expediting the completion of the Great Commission by having people from all the nations move in next door to people like you and me. I love that our family of churches started when one man left a stuck-in-the mud church to plant among the needy refugees pouring in from Europe. How much of A.B. Simpson’s commitment to love his neighbors still resides in us? By now you probably know that there are currently 65 million people displaced globally. It represents the worst humanitarian crisis in the world since WWII, and yet it seems like the news cycle is growing weary of the story. Sadly, when it comes to refugees, most evangelicals support banning them from the U.S. altogether. Increasingly, it seems, we can quickly suspect anyone who’s not “one of us.” Consider what happens in your own heart when someone gets in your space that is totally different from you.
A religious leader asked Jesus to unpack the theological idea behind the word “neighbor” (the guy had decided there were certain kinds of people he didn’t have to have anything to do with). In response, Jesus told a story. The story made a hero out of a despised foreigner with a heretical religion – a Samaritan. The hero’s love-in-action lifestyle to a person in serious need of help is portrayed against the non-action and disdain of local congregation leadership. The point of the story? Be like the Samaritan.
It made me stop and think about my life. It also made me stop and think about the state of the Church in the U.S.
God’s stated plan for you and me (and the congregations we lead) is to love those unlike us but living near us by meeting tangible needs in the name of Jesus. How does his desire to love others “not like you” find practical expression in your life, and in the life of your church?
I love pursuing the Acts 1:8 mission with you! Randy Shaw Field Director, Alliance NW
P.S. Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA) is our “boots on the ground” in caring for displaced people worldwide. You can trust CAMA with your financial resources that are set aside to help the current global refugee crisis. Donate here to provide tangible help for the global refugee crisis in the name of Jesus.