Cecile and I will be in the tropics for Thanksgiving Day. We’ll miss turkey with all of the trimmings. But we won’t miss Black Friday, neither the actual thing nor the idea of the thing. So I had an idea. What if the USA were to spend half of what we usually spend on Black Friday and to use the rest to resettle Syrian refugees?
Of course, that won’t happen. But that trifle of a sacrifice would probably be more than enough than to give a pretty great start to refugees displaced by pure evil. We won’t be receiving offerings for them quite yet, what with being in the middle of our pledge season, and then preparing to go build homes in Central America.
But eventually we need to do something. We all know that. I learned all I need to know about fleeing Syrian refugees in this 6 minute clip from Samaritan’s Purse. It is very simple. No dead babies on the shore. Just look at their faces and think of your own family. My family came to these shores in 1705, also persecuted first in Switzerland, then in Germany. But nothing like what these people now endure.
Relocating millions of Syrian lives is not a matter to be resolved easily or soon. This issue is not going away. Until that day when we can do more, we can pray.
Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion,
the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria;
bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
and comfort to those mourning the dead.
Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors
in their care and welcome for refugees.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.
O God of hope and Father of mercy,
your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs.
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence
and to seek reconciliation with enemies.
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. See you on Sunday, our Thanksgiving Sunday, as we welcome 11 new members, and pledge from our blessings for our church.