Exile, Homecoming & Grace
Many of us have had to navigate conversations regarding the refugee crisis.
How the Christian is to relate to the poor, the outcast and the refugee is not something that is framed by our political leaning, but the ramifications of our belief in the gospel, regardless of our political leaning.
If Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension are true, then the gospel offers us an eternal perspective that informs how we relate to the issues of the world around us. Christian generosity flows from the belief in eternity.
Christ has saved us in grace and will return to restore all things in grace – that’s what the gospel is. That truth draws us out of the comfort of self preservation and reorients our hearts to embrace lives of self sacrifice – that’s what the gospel does.
The gospel reminds us that this life is not all there is and the symbol of our Christian faith is a cross. The cross is an image of self sacrifice, the very antithesis of self fulfillment. The cross says, ‘Your benefit. My expense.‘
The poor, the outcast and the refugee among us show us our hearts because their needs are so grave, they cry out for the cross shaped love of self sacrifice.
“Exile and homecoming” is an inescapable gospel theme that runs repeatedly through the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. The exodus under Moses foreshadows the exodus of all believers united to Christ. We were the exiles and refugees who are now being brought into an incredible, unearned homecoming by sheer grace.
God didn’t evaluate us and assess our ability to become contributing citizens of His kingdom who would eventually earn our keep. What God has done for us, we cannot repay. That’s why we call His grace, ‘amazing‘.
By His Spirit, may God continue to grow His cross-shaped love in our hearts for the poor, the outcast and the refugee. More and more, may the love we show towards others say, ‘Your benefit. My expense.’