Refugees, Foriegners, Compassion & the Church

Refugees, Foriegners, Compassion & the Church

Society Church
refugee

A post contributed by Tim Coburn, Lead Pastor of Society Church, Sacramento Ca.

Our political climate is challenging in our nation right now. Many people are fearful, angry, sad, disappointed, outraged, divided,  and apathetic.

Honestly, my peacekeeper tendencies have typically forced me into passive aggressive, non-responsiveness during moments like this. But I am learning that I must stand against the bullies that rise up from both sides, and oh how they rise up… I have realized recently that I have a part to play, a voice to contribute and a perspective to be considered, right alongside my reactive, wordy, trolling, opinionated friends.

So here I go…

Politics aside (Some people may be thinking, how can you put aside politics? That is another blog post for another time) I believe Jesus followers have some principles to live into right now. This scripture from Psalm 146:3-10 (NLT) is worth some reflection, it is thousands of years old from a book of songs.

Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them.
But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.
He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down. The LORD loves the godly.
The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. The LORD will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the LORD!”
‭‭

This scripture leaves us with some things to consider about how we view and how God views politics, powerful people, the poor, and the most vulnerable populations in society. Want some more scriptures to consider? Here is a more comprehensive list from a blog post about loving the foreigner among us, it is worth some time of reflection: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/what-bible-says-about-how-treat-refugees

Words are not enough in times like these. We need movements, not stances. As a pastor I will continue to seek to lead our faith community to be a people that are deeply moved towards a life filled with love, justice, mercy and compassion for the refugee and foreigner (which we all are, in one way or another) for the poor and oppressed, for the hungry and thirsty, for the lonely and forgotten.

We must learn the lost language of love, the forgotten dance of justice, the subtle movements of compassion and the humble ways of mercy our Rabbi, Refugee Jesus (Matthew 2:13-23) taught us.

In times like these, I believe we must talk less about opinions and do more to tangibly help those in need. The kingdom of God is not one of just words but power, power to move mountains through humble actions inspired by love, motivated by hope and filled with courageous faith.

The kingdom of God is not one of hateful aggression, apathetic non-responsiveness, political bullying, or rage-filled slander. But loving actions that serve the most vulnerable people in our society. So that we and others might see our loving God amidst times such as these.

Society Church has made a commitment this year to stand with World Relief Sacramento as they seek to provide relief, aid, hospitality and justice for refugee individuals and families from around the world. Please join us in our financial partnership-> https://worldrelief.net/sacramento/donate

Don’t have money, but have heart? Sign a refugee solidarity statement here-https://wewelcomerefugees.com/solidarity/

Come with us as we learn the language of love, the dance of justice, the movements of compassion and the ways of mercy.