The past week has been pretty overwhelming, hasn’t it? At least, that’s how I found it.
Terrorist attacks in Paris. Syrian refugees. Shrill rhetoric. Chronic knee-jerking coupled with self-righteous finger pointing — from all sides.
Life was so much simpler when a contrived controversy involving disposable red coffee cups was the most pressing issue of the day.
The questions and answers surrounding the refugee situation are complex. There’s no doubt about that. At times, it was enough to make you want to adopt the Ostrich as your patron saint, and just bury your head in the sand and block it all out.
But that’s not an option. Or at best, it’s an unacceptable option.
There are already quite a number of churches across Canada that are sponsoring refugee families. And while the vetting process needs to be done responsibly (Ie. the original deadline of December 31 is being reconsidered), I’m thrilled that the Canadian government is committed to bringing in 25,000 refugees.
But the rhetoric remains shrill and harsh. You can’t go anywhere online without being inundated with fervently held opinions (both informed and uninformed).
As Christians, we need to come at this from a position of strength. We must have our internal compass firmly set, and hold the course through any and all assailing storms.
Our position of strength is, unsurprisingly, different from that of the world:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life, and I will dwell
in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23)
As we continue to wrestle through the multi-layered issues of welcoming the stranger (Matthew 25:31-46), we must not allow our hearts to become combative and/or dismissive towards anyone with a differing opinion.
We start from a position of strength: resting and trusting in God. And then, secure in our identity in Him, we roll up our sleeves and dive into the work.