It’s such an anxious time in the world right now. To help calm my nerves, I’ve been reading about the teachings of Buddha and Jesus.
I’m not sure this was a good move.
Self-sacrifice was a key tenet of their teachings– they demanded it of themselves and of those who wanted to follow them.
So far, I’ve concluded that if most of us today did exactly what the Buddha directed, we’d be laughed out of town. And if we behaved as Jesus did, we’d be crucified.
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Jesus was a revolutionary. The person whose birth we mark at Christmas didn’t give a hoot about people’s social standing or how much money they had. He valued their faith and actions, not their status.
He called out the rich, powerful and comfortable, lambasted the uncaring and the corrupt. He looked out for children, the sick and disabled. He welcomed outsiders.
We Canadians have welcomed roughly 40, 000 homeless refugees in the last year. Some worry that in our zeal to provide a home to these vulnerable outsiders, Canadians risk our own safety or finances. Do I understand that fear? Yes, indeed.
A friend of mine spoke passionately about his fears of Syrian refugees one week – and found himself sponsoring a refugee family the next. He’d reflected on his fears and decided to live up to his own Christian values instead.
Canada is a mostly Christian country, but I’m no expert on Christianity. Nor, judging by the New Testament gospel, am I even close to being a true Christian. But I keep thinking about what Jesus might have said about welcoming refugees.
Perhaps he’d say something about acting on faith, not fear. About reflecting on our own privileges and comforts. And about helping the vulnerable by making room at the inn.
Dedicated to people of all nations who are welcoming refugees to their homes and communities.