In an address a few days ago entitled, “Be Not Afraid!” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry responds to last week’s terror attacks in Paris and Beirut by urging us not to lose sight of our long commitment “to resettling refugees in our own communities fleeing violence and persecution.” He reminds us that God commands us to welcome the foreigner into our midst. As Christians, we are called to seek our ultimate security from God in Christ, not from border patrol.
This has been a distressing week, as we deal not only with the terror and grief of those attacks but also with the shame of hearing our politicians turn refugees away from our doorsteps. A couple and their five year-old son, who fled Syria in 2011, were scheduled to arrive in Indianapolis on Wednesday, only to be turned away by fear. They were taken in by the state of Connecticut, where the governor made excuses for us, saying “that people in the United States were generous and good people, but sometimes things happen elsewhere that cause people to forget about their generosity.” Is Hoosier Hospitality dead?
Maybe it is in the wider population, but I know that hospitality is not dead at Holy Trinity. For now, in this case, hospitality is a bit more complicated than simply bringing a dish to share. We can still participate financially in efforts by the Episcopal Migration Ministries to resettle refugees in other parts of the country. We can support Exodus Refugee, our local EMM Affiliate in Indianapolis. We can communicate our frustration and dismay to our political representatives. Above all, we can, in the words of our presiding bishop, remember that:
The fear is real. So we pray. We go to church. We remember who we are in Jesus. Our resurrection hope is larger than fear. Let nothing keep us from that hope, that faith, that security in Gods dream for all of humanity.