A sermon for the Watford church of Christ

Watford church of Christ 15 October 2023

Not making any points about the rights and wrongs of the conflict
What are we to do? What are we to learn?

How does God think about refugees? What does he feel towards them?

Deuteronomy 10:18-19 “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”
Leviticus 19:33-34 — “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”

God thinks they need protecting and feels compassion.
He wants his people to be the same.

Matthew 25:35-36 — “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Luke 10:25-37 — The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Hebrews 13:1-2 — “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”” Matthew 2:13-15

Jesus wants the vulnerable protected. He feels compassion towards them.
More than that, he has empathy born of his own experience.
He wants his followers to feel the same and act accordingly – with compassion.
Is this easy?

The fact that we feel powerless does not mean we are powerless to act.
The fact we cannot change things beyond our control does not mean we cannot make a change somewhere to someone.
God cares about refugees.
We can make a difference
He knows how refugees feel.
Our acts are magnified by God’s Spirit

What does this mean?
God sees their situation. He is available to them.
We see people’s situation. We can make ourselves available to people.
One phone call. One prayer might make all the difference.

We are/were foreigners, Ephesians 2:11-22
Now part of the kingdom because of Jesus

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm