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January 22, 2017 “God of the Refugee”

On the first Sunday after the inauguration, our entire service was centered on the issue of refugees. This was a continuation of a project last Spring, where the youth group led a service about refugees and assembled 396 hygiene kits to be distributed to Middle East refugees by Church World Services.

During this service, Taylor Cline-Meehan read a homely on refugees written by our youth, and they showed the video below, which was created by her brother Michael.  Then, Pastor Tracy preached on the deep concern for refugees throughout Judeo-Christian theology, with particular focus on Jesus’s childhood as a refugee in Egypt.  (Scripture Matthew 2: 13-23)

The Youth Group’s Homely:

A year ago, the children of the congregation conducted a service about the Refugee crisis in the world. We researched the subject, and the congregation worked with local business to create Hygiene packages for the refugees. This congregation made and shipped over 300 Hygiene packages to give just a little bit of help to those who are refugees. How comforting was it for them to receive a toothbrush and a bar of soap from people they did not know, but who loved them anyway?

In elections throughout the world many of the politicians are using “National Pride” to exclude the refugees from their country. They discuss building walls, and creating criteria for admission based on a particular religion or race.

Currently there are over 65 MILLION people living as refugees, and the bible is full of passages about refugees. Arguably, Adam and Eve are the first refugees, since they were kicked out of their home, and forced to find a new place to live, but God watched over them. He helped them. As he helped Moses when he was forced to leave Egypt.

In Leviticus, he said, “Do not mistreat foreigners who are living in your land. Treat them as you would an Isrealite, and love them as you love yourselves. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”

And in Zechariah, 7, verse 9, He says, “Long ago I gave you these commands to my people. ‘You must see that justice is done, and must show kindness and mercy to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners who live among you, or anyone else in need.”

Even Jesus was a refugee as he walked spreading God’s word, and he was welcomed into towns and homes. That is what we learn in this Church.

Michael has been very concerned with the Refugee crisis, and though he does not like to speak in public, he has created a video that helps us to see the face of refugees. We ask that you continue to keep them in your hearts and prayers, and find ways to support them. This church continues to help refugees, and there are many organizations that our member’s support that you can partner with to help. I know that Mr. Alan Miller is a big supporter of “Doctors without Borders” and my brother Jacob is working with the Nicaragua service club at school to bring aid to the poorest country in this hemisphere. There are many way to help with this ongoing and growing crisis.

Please enjoy this video that Michael created and remember those who are suffering.

The Youth Group’s Video

Pastor Tracy’s Sermon