Making peace by supporting refugees and migrants
Finding God’s presence in a strange new land
The Lord is the stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Reflection: For most of history, we humans have demonstrated a tendency to ‘other’ people who leave the places that they come from and settle in a new land. The laws and practices of this country in particular have helped to maintain adverse realities for those who come to the U.S. Immigrants, refugees, and other displaced peoples spend exorbitant amounts of money — sometimes their entire life’s worth — just for the chance to come to America and start anew. Yet often, they arrive in our country and are met with suspicion and scrutiny, no social safety net, and long waits and legal barriers before they can work.
When we find ourselves in strange new places where we may feel unwanted, unwelcome, or out of place, God loves and cares for us still. Sometimes that’s difficult to believe. But the psalmist reminds us that God is there, even and especially in times of trouble.
Action: What is your favorite or most significant childhood memory? Ask someone what theirs is. Marvel at how different (or similar!) they might be. How have these memories shaped each of you into the people you are today?
Prayer: Lord, we pray for and with those whom we perceive to be different from us. We pray for those who do not live in the places where they were born; we pray for those who do. We pray for those whose homes have been destroyed by natural disasters or human negligence; we pray for those whose homes are safe and secure. Help us grow into greater love and care for all people. Amen.
Ekama Eni is a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York and is under care of Grace Presbytery. She served as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in Scotland, working in a Church of Scotland Priority Area congregation. There, her call to ministry — and an affinity for being outdoors — were stirred. She is an immigrant, a proud Texan, and a lover of food and naps.
This year’s A Season of Peace Resources are designed to help Presbyterians explore different forms and lenses for peacemaking. From the personal level to global issues, these reflections and prayers will help grow the faith and witness of the whole church. Through the 29 days of this year’s Season of Peace, we are invited to reflect upon:
- What does it mean to commit to Peace?
- Making peace by addressing root causes of poverty
- Making peace by disrupting systematic racism
- Making peace by ending violence
- Making peace by supporting refugees and migrants
- Partaking in peace in worship and at table this World Communion Sunday and through the Peace & Global Witness Offering
Each author represents a variety of vocations and experiences in peacemaking efforts. Individuals and households are invited to make use of these daily reflections beginning on Sunday, September 1, and concluding on World Communion Sunday, October 6.