Shalom! A Journal for the Practice of Reconciliation is a quarterly publication of the Brethren in Christ Church. Its mission is to educate and stimulate Christ-like responses to the needs of society by providing biblical, theological, sociological, denominational and personal perspectives on a variety of comtemporary issues.
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Fall 2016, "Responding to Refugees"
Imagine there is a credible threat on your infant son’s life and you have been warned to leave the country. You quickly gather a few things and flee with your young family across the border into the country from which your ancestors escaped centuries before. You have no idea where you will live, how you will support your family, whether you’ll be welcomed into this new country, or whether people will think you should have stayed where you were. You have faith that God will protect you, but life is still uncertain, scary, and unfamiliar. We know how that story turned out. When there was no longer a threat to the child’s life, Joseph was told to return to Israel with Mary and the young child Jesus. Yes, Jesus was a refugee—he was a foreigner in a strange land and probably depended on the hospitality of strangers. When we think about the plight of refugees today, how might we view them differently if we thought one of them might be Jesus himself? This edition of Shalom! explores some possible responses, tells the stories of people who were refugees themselves and/or are responding, offers some spiritual grounding, and dips briefly into the Brethren in Christ history of responding to refugees following the Vietnam War in the 1970s.