11 million people were newly displaced in 2019. This includes 8.6 million internally displaced people and 2.4 million new refugees and asylum seekers. *Source
Be silent for a moment and consider:
have you ever been faced with a situation that felt entirely beyond your capacities, and that didn’t look like it was going to get better any time soon? How did it feel? What did you do?
The crisis of people being displaced due to war, terror, or economics is not a new one, nor is it going away. Millions of people left their homes in fear in the past year, and millions more will almost certainly have to do so next year as well. As aid agencies and host nations try to help settle and stabilise the displaced people who are already on the move, they are under the pressure of knowing that more people are soon on their way.
In John 1 we are introduced to the God who moves towards us. “In the beginning was the Word,” that is, God’s self-revelation. This Word of God becomes flesh and moves into the neighbourhood. Jesus is willingly displaced from heaven and comes to his creation, not out of fear, but because of love.
God is always moving towards us. His movement wasn’t just something that happened 2000 years ago. Remember, Jesus is the Word of God, God’s self-revelation. His life demonstrates what God is always like. He is the Hound of Heaven, hunting us down all the time. At Eugene Peterson’s funeral his son said that his father only had one sermon, one prayer, and that he repeated it in every book and every conversation: “God loves you. He is on your side. He is coming after you. He is relentless.”
When we are faced with situations that appear beyond our resources, that have no end in sight, and that look to only get more difficult before they get better (if they ever get better), remember this: God is on the move, too. He is on our side. He loves us.
Read: John 1:1-5, 14
Prayer: Ask the Lord how you could best welcome a newcomer – be they internally displaced, a refugee or an asylum seeker, into your neighbourhood in the next year. Then ask the same question to a local agency that is helping to settle newcomers in your city.
Our vision is to help people survive and recover from forced displacement. We do this together with the church, both globally, and locally in Canada.