As you might have noticed, there is a part 1 to this blog post. I knew that I wanted to write about hospitality but there were two different things on my heart and I decided that I needed to say both, hence a two part blog post.
It is an interesting time to be in Europe. If you do not know, there is currently a migrant crisis. People are fleeing their countries of origin for many reasons, mainly war and persecution. Everyone in Europe is talking about this crisis but no one seems to know what to do about it. Now, to be honest, I do not know much about this crisis. I am learning, little by little, how dangerous it is for these refugees to get to Europe and I am also hearing a lot about the impact of this incredible influx of people. But I do not have a solution.
So what does hospitality have to do with this migrant crisis? In this Sunday's reading from James, we heard "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead" (James 2:14-17). I think this is incredibly important to hear as we (the countries in Europe and every other country that faces a similar challenge) discern how we react to the people fleeing their homes in search of something better.
I wonder what it would look like if the refugees were greeted with the same welcome that I was. People planned for me; the church here petitioned for a YASC missionary. What would it look like if we invited people in with the open arms that I have experienced? Of course there are challenges, but God calls us to care for our brothers and sisters. We are told that our faith needs action. How are we going to do that?
Now, I do not run the government (thankfully); I have no say in how Europe decides to handle this crisis. But I can say this, these people are human beings that deserve to be treated as such. And I'm going to find what I CAN do to help, even if that means simply donating money and talking about it on this blog.