A Season of Peace: Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Making peace by supporting refugees and migrants

Narrow gates

Rev. Raafat L. Zaki

Matthew 7:13

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Reflection: God calls us into intentional, selfless, and sometimes sacrificial giving and communal participation. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., called it the Beloved Community; the Apostle Paul called it the Body of Christ.  Jesus warns his disciples that we enter this community through a narrow gate and that the path of discipleship is a hard road to walk. Following in Jesus’ footsteps requires self-denial and solidarity. Entering through the narrow gate often entails forgoing wealth, privilege, and even earned societal benefits for the sake of the common good.

In the context of the global refugee crisis, we can’t talk about narrow gates without acknowledging that the ports of entry for migrants and asylum-seekers are getting narrower by the minute. Increasingly often, they are finding gates closed and doors slammed in their faces. But the Beloved Community knows no borders. It is inclusive, generous, and egalitarian by design.

As Christians living in the United States, it’s worth taking a look at our history. What role have we as a nation played in creating this crisis of refugees and displaced people? Acknowledging the sins of our past, how do we now respond with love to people whose lives have been forever impacted by our unjust trade, inhumane market conditions, war and regime change, and other corrupt political and business practices? Such injustices are legislated by our government and funded with our taxes.

Action: Take some time today to research U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the migrant and refugee crisis. If you’re looking for a place to start, try this article: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qvnyzq/central-america-atrocities-caused-immigration-crisis. Explore local faith-based and non-profit organizations that address the root causes of migration.

Prayer: Just and forgiving God, we humbly confess our complicity in social and racial injustice and our complicity in cultures of violence and dehumanization. We repent of our nation’s dishonest and unjust exploitation of those who are poor and marginalized. We commit to examining our lifestyles and holding our government accountable. Help us to overcome fear, hatred, racism, xenophobia, false pride, and sanctimony. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.


Rev. Zaki is a transformational leader in social witness and just-peacemaking. He is a Teaching Elder and has served in leadership positions with all four councils of the PC(USA). Currently he serves church and society as Synod of the Covenant Executive.


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:

  1. What does it mean to commit to Peace?
  2. Making peace by addressing root causes of poverty
  3. Making peace by disrupting systematic racism
  4. Making peace by ending violence
  5. Making peace by supporting refugees and migrants
  6. 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.

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