Today we pause from our busy schedules to remember 68.5 million adults and children worldwide who have been displaced due to war, poverty, persecution, natural disasters, and other traumatic events. World Refugee Day is held each year on this day to draw our attention to our responsibility to raise awareness, generously offer our material and spiritual assistance, and grow our compassion for those who are the most vulnerable among us. As Christians, we take time to remember to pray to a loving Creator whose Son Jesus, along with his family and disciples, were marginalized by forces beyond their control during their time on earth. We pray for a generous grace to fill our hearts so we might be inspired to serve.
I invite you to pray, along with me, the beautiful prayer that follows--written by Brother Andrew de Carpentier, an Episcopalian priest and monastic who worked as the director of the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf in Jordan for many years and is now assisting Syrian refugees.
Dear Lord, you know what it means to be a refugee. You also lost all and perhaps remembered how you came to be hungry and naked, thirsty and cold, prisoners in a camp or prisoners in our own minds. They even took your cloak and you had nothing left, except some people who came by to quench your thirst, to give you a blanket and to help carry your burden. Lord Jesus, for God's sake, let us be those people who bring comfort, food and water, and an encouraging word. And may we then hear the words softly spoken: "insofar as you did it unto these people who are the least of my brothers, you did it unto me. Go in peace!"
The Rev. Steve Best