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November 2015

Refugees need the hands and hearts of Christians

A recent Facebook post featured an image of a home and its front door. In the bottom corner was a second image of Jesus. The text read, “Am I welcome in your home? Reply yes.”

More than 1 million people had clicked “like” and another 8,000 had responded “yes.” Handscross

And I wondered how many of those respondents would agree that Syrian refugees should be allowed into our country.

Being a Christian is not easy.  It requires us to think with the mind of Christ, to see with the heart of Christ.

It requires that we bring our intelligence and common sense to every situation, not just our emotions, to ensure that all people have an opportunity to live in communities of care and
safety.

Evil not only begets evil. Evil seeks to grow evil in hearts and minds.  We must be vigilant that the evil of terrorism does not fuel the evil of intolerance, prejudice, racism and a willingness to abandon those most in need.

Our human nature means that we will all be plagued by thoughts of fear and prejudice, at one time or another. Our Christian beliefs call us to push past those thoughts, ensuring that they never form a basis for our decisions.

When we allow our fear to corrupt our humanity, and embrace the result, we can no longer identify ourselves as followers of Jesus Christ, who was very clear about the greatest commandment:  “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Jesus' teaching is simple and clear. We are the ones who have added the limitations, the exclusions and the addendums.