Daily Lesson for Tuesday 21st of November 2023
The topic of immigrants and refugees has become a hotly debated subject, especially because there are so many of them today. Whether displaced by war, natural disasters, or for the hope of a better economic future, millions around the world have been uprooted from their homes and are in desperate need of help.
In Matthew 2:13-14, Jesus was a refugee. His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary, were forced to flee Bethlehem by night and seek refuge in Egypt to escape the murderous hand of Herod. The Bible says nothing about their experience in Egypt, but it’s not hard to imagine that it had its challenges, perhaps some of the same challenges that refugees face today, as well. In fact, somewhat parallel to how Jesus’ family sought asylum in a foreign land, many Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and nonreligious persons are seeking asylum in new lands today, as well.
Generally speaking, it is easier to make friends with individuals from our own culture and language group because we share many things in common. It is more challenging, however, to find common ground with immigrants and refugees who look different from us, who do not speak our language, who do not share the same religious values, and do not eat similar food. The gospel calls us to get out of our ethnic, national, and cultural comfort zones and to reach out to those in need, regardless of how different from us they might be.
Read Deuteronomy 10:19, Psalms 146:9, Romans 12:13, and Leviticus 23:22. What’s the important theme here for us to remember?
How can we minister to immigrants and refugees? It is difficult because, in some countries, it may not be politically correct to mingle with or help these people. Yet, we must do what we can, when we can, to minister to these people, who surely have been through some very difficult times and are in need of our help. So, to whatever degree we can, we must help.
Begin with prayer, then seek information on immigrants and refugees. Many places have organizations that care for them. You can begin working with one of these organizations, or maybe your local church Sabbath School could start a ministry for immigrants or refugees.
Even if it’s only a small amount, what can you do to help any immigrants or refugees you know about?