by Pastor Matthew Teo
When I study the ‘movement’ of Jesus, a peculiar pattern emerges. Jesus was always moving towards places where everyone else would avoid. Jesus had meals with tax collectors, prostitutes and the despised. Jesus made his way to the cross obediently. Jesus always moved towards the marginalised people and to difficult places, including the cross.
We as Christians, the body of Christ, ideally should follow suit. We should be the ones responding to crisis situations, being His hands and feet, ministering care and aid to the destitute and broken.
It seems to me, the refugee crisis splashed across the globe is currently the most pressing need in terms of numbers, movement, resources needed, and political complications. The immediate local churches there are indeed shaken up to respond to the refugee crisis.
As a global church, the body of Christ need to band together to support the local churches that are in immediate contact with refugees, in both finance and manpower.
The Syrian refugee crisis is current. More crises will continue to pop up. Is the church ready to respond to these needs? Or are we too preoccupied with needs of our own home church.
Whatever the case, God has so patiently waited for His church to awaken to His call, to carry out His assignment. God always chooses to use and partner with His people to do His will.
Jesus moved towards the marginalised and despised because He was always filled with compassion for them. Do we have the same heart towards refugees?
In a world increasingly divisive in opinions and sentiments, do we also sub-consciously despise certain groups of people for whom God has compassion? If so, we need to humble ourselves and allow God to consecrate our hearts.
Ever consider how often Jesus had meals with the marginalised and despised? Why so? For fellowship. Do we fellowship with such people?
And what happened when he fellowshipped with them? They talked, of course. He engaged them in conversations, in dialogues.
The question then is how long do we spend listening to ‘others’, engaging in dialogue with them, gaining a deeper understanding of their worldview. The ‘others’ can be anyone ranging from someone of another faith, another culture, or even another church.
I strongly encourage us to rethink the way Jesus ‘moves’. Many precious lessons can be extracted from his ‘movements’. And as we learn and grow, may the global church learn how to better ‘move’ like Jesus as well.
I strongly urge all who are already doing His work, to challenge others to jump on board in extending His kingdom.
It is everyone’s responsibility to be engaged in the assignments He has tasked us with.
This article originally appeared on Interserve, Singapore on December 9, 2016.