Hello to everyone at Willow Creek! I've been thinking about you all recently and the heroic work you do on the refugee crisis. Thank you, thank you!
'I was a stranger and you let me in.' Matthew 25.
It would appear that exile was close to the heart of who Jesus was. I'm also thinking of Matthew 8 - 'Foxes have holes, birds have nests but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head' - not just 'no room at the inn.'
Jesus was a displaced person, his family fleeing to Egypt for fear of the life of their first born child.
Yep, Jesus was a refugee.
Now, our closeness with Christ is not always about proximity to the poor and the vulnerable. But if we're honest, it often is.
'Love thy neighbour', as we've all shared in Willow Creek before, is not advice. It's a command. In a globalised world, the definition of 'neighbour' is not what it used to be. But the principle hasn't changed.
'When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner amongst you must be treated as your native born. Love them as yourself for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.'
This refugee crisis is defining us here in Europe. Less so in the United States. But the whole world has a job to do. And it's not easy. We have political figures from across the political spectrum, demonising refugees.
We as believers are called to take a stand. I know you will. Thank you for your leadership, Willow Creek.