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December 19, 2016

Everyone deserves a place to call home. Most people reading this have one. We’ve taken it for granted. We’ve always had a home, and when we didn’t, we knew there would be people who would take us in and provide the shelter, safety, and care we needed. We also know that’s not true for everyone.

Two thousand years ago, a young couple suddenly couldn’t find a place to stay. No one would provide it. Their only shelter was a cave where the cattle were kept at night. Yet that’s where Jesus would enter this world. Soon thereafter, Jesus’ family had to flee to Egypt, eventually returning when it was safe to do so. God certainly cares about us having a place to call home, knowing it’s a basic human longing. 

Our Love Offering this year worked toward that end. Thank you for your contributions! There are millions of displaced persons fleeing war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places. God doesn’t forget about them, and neither do United Methodists. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is still handing out health kits to those who find themselves in refugee camps. And the Minnesota Council of Churches’ Refugee Services is still helping to settle families in our state.

Addressing global refugees is guided by four principles:

  1. Acknowledging the right to stay and flourish in one’s HOME country
  2. Supporting those who are eventually able to return to their country
  3. Allowing safe passage to those who have no alternative than to leave their country of origin
  4. Welcoming and receiving those who have to begin to live in a new HOME country
At this time of year, we talk about the Savior of the world seeking a home in our hearts. It’s good and right to do so. I hope there is room for Jesus and those without homes in your life this season.

Knowing you have Jesus in your heart, and knowing you have the shelter, safety, and care that everyone desires, I also hope you will consider making another donation of time, energy, and/or money to help those less fortunate. It can be to the Love Offering (you can mail a check or donate online), or it can be a ministry to the homeless right around the corner. Jesus will enter the world again every time you do it.  

Rev. Lyndy Zabel is director of missional impact for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
 




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