Why Jesus really is the Answer for the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

Like many you, if you’ve read or seen the news of the drowning of Aylan Kurdi, a three year old Syrian refugee, I am heartbroken. The image of this drowned child, lying facedown on the shores of Europe haunts me as I try to sleep tonight. 

Many of us knew this crisis was happening, but that photo has made it so personal and real to so many.

I turned to my wife tonight and I asked, “Why? How? What Now?”.

“Why did this happen, how could this have been prevented, and most importantly, what should we do now that we can not unsee what we have seen?” 

And maybe because I like to solve things, or maybe because, like you, I don’t want tomorrow to be the same as today for these refugees…

“What is the solution to this awful problem!?” 

(I’m not calling refugees seeking a better life a problem- I’m calling refugees being so desperate for asylum, that they’d risk drowning, a serious problem).

As I asked this question, many answers came, but only one seemed to be valid for lasting change.

Jesus Christ.

Now hear me out. I know that sounds so cliche, so “bumper sticker”, so unhelpful right now. It sounds too abstract and of another world to truly be of any relevance to this situation, but let me explain why I believe this is our best source of hope.

When I think of Jesus I think of these realities that He preached and that He still offers today.

Forgiveness. Healing. Peace. Hospitality. Love. Justice. Grace. Eternal Life. Salvation. An Alternative Kingdom, or Way of Life, Becoming a Reality.

Don’t those all seem so needed right now? (Imagine if this Jesus was embraced by those causing the war! We’d have no refugees to start with… I could focus on the “soldiers”, but for now let me focus on the countries receiving these refugees.)

One of Jesus’ most famous teachings was when He said “…Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children” (NLT- Matthew 19:14).

Jesus was speaking to adults who were literally trying to stop children coming to be near Him. If we were being “Christian”, and following His example, we could argue that we should have the same attitude towards any adult trying to stop children experiencing Jesus. 

Not “irrelevant Jesus”, real Jesus: Forgiveness. Healing. Peace. Hospitality. Love. Justice. Grace. Eternal Life. Salvation. An Alternative Kingdom, or Way of Life, Becoming a Reality.
“Don’t stop them!” 
God knows we all need real Jesus right now!

Surely this teaching couldn’t be more relevant for this situation!

Let the children come. 

Historically, Europe was made up of Christian nations, yet it seems so difficult for many to experience Christian hospitality from Europe now (maybe because Europe is becoming increasingly “Post-Christian”). 

Canada, where this boys family had previously tried unsuccessfully for asylum, was also a predominantly Christian country once. Now, Canada is famously secular, but so too may be its refugee intake policies and figures…

Maybe it’s time for countries (and individuals) to become a little more “Christian” again.

I don’t claim to be an expert on foreign policy, and I don’t claim to know all the answers to this crisis. All I have right now is just one, but I think it may be a great start…

Jesus Christ.

Forgiveness. Healing. Peace. Hospitality. Love. Justice. Grace. Eternal Life. Salvation. An Alternative Kingdom, or Way of Life, Becoming a Reality.

Please join with me in praying for all people, from “soldiers” to refugees, politicians and activists, to look to Jesus as the essential model and solution for this terrible crisis.

Andrew

PS- in the Bible, It says of Jesus, in relation to those who have gone to  Heaven, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (NLT Rev. 21:4) Let that ever so relevant verse about an ever so relevant Jesus comfort you as you think of Aylan Kurdi. 

R.I.P. Aylun Kurdi. 

Rest In Peace, the Peace of Jesus. 

 

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