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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: The door of the stab­le is still open

Vieraskieliset / In-english
24.4.2016 12.00

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 23:30

Last Christ­mas I he­ard a spe­a­ker brot­her say in his ser­mon that the door of the stab­le where Je­sus was born is still open. That was like a po­wer­ful re­min­der that made me think of a ser­vi­ce gu­est who had come from the ot­her side of the world as an asy­lum see­ker. Be­lie­ving friends had as­ked him to come to ser­vi­ces. He did not pos­sess the grace of for­gi­ve­ness yet, but ser­vi­ces were a wel­co­me break in his op­p­res­si­ve­ly mo­no­to­nous dai­ly life.

Eu­ro­pe has re­cent­ly ex­pe­rien­ced an ex­cep­ti­o­nal­ly lar­ge wave of mig­ra­ti­on. There are more re­fu­gees in the world now than at any ot­her time af­ter the Se­cond World War. Ac­cor­ding to the Uni­ted Na­ti­ons High Com­mis­si­o­ner for Re­fu­gees, ne­ar­ly 60 mil­li­on pe­op­le had left their ho­mes by the end of 2014 be­cau­se of war, per­se­cu­ti­on, and vi­o­len­ce. Fin­land and the ot­her EU mem­ber sta­tes are ob­li­ga­ted by in­ter­na­ti­o­nal ag­ree­ments to al­low the ent­ry of asy­lum see­kers in need of in­ter­na­ti­o­nal pro­tec­ti­on.

Many pe­op­le feel dist­rust­ful or even hos­ti­le to­ward these mig­rants. But we should re­mem­ber that there have been re­fu­gees throug­hout the his­to­ry of man­kind. God’s word en­cou­ra­ges us to show love to­ward all neigh­bors. God has cre­a­ted all pe­op­le in His own ima­ge.

This mass mig­ra­ti­on is not a ran­dom phe­no­me­non but part of God’s big plan. As we read in the Psalms: All the days or­dai­ned for me were writ­ten in yo­ur book be­fo­re one of them came to be. This me­ans all days of all pe­op­le, even asy­lum see­kers. Many pe­op­le are see­king tem­po­ral pe­a­ce, some are see­king pe­a­ce for their soul. Many have al­re­a­dy found the li­ving faith and have wan­ted to be­lie­ve their sins for­gi­ven. There is joy for this in he­a­ven.

Asy­lum see­kers le­a­ve their home count­ry for many re­a­sons, most­ly be­cau­se of war, per­se­cu­ti­on, and vi­o­len­ce. Most of those who choo­se to es­ca­pe end up close to their home area. Some ot­hers seek asy­lum in dif­fe­rent parts of the world, inc­lu­ding Eu­ro­pe and even Fin­land. The des­ti­na­ti­on of an in­di­vi­du­al asy­lum see­ker de­pends on a num­ber of fac­tors, inc­lu­ding the rou­te they tra­vel, their know­led­ge of the count­ry of des­ti­na­ti­on, or the place where their fa­mi­ly mem­bers have hap­pe­ned to set­t­le.

The si­tu­a­ti­on of asy­lum see­kers has cau­sed many Fin­ns to be help­ful, though there have al­so been dif­fe­rent at­ti­tu­des. These root­less mig­rants need a lot of help and sup­port even in ba­sic eve­ry­day mat­ters. We all have an op­por­tu­ni­ty to help them get set­t­led in their new en­vi­ron­ment. Let us join our for­ces. Let us give them all wings that will car­ry them along in life. If we have the cou­ra­ge to of­fer them faith and the gos­pel, God may give growth to the seed we have sown.

The door to the stab­le where Je­sus was born is still open. God is cal­ling pe­op­le through the up­he­a­vals of na­ti­ons, as the scrip­tu­res are co­ming true. We sing about this in a song of Zion (539) writ­ten by Nii­lo Rau­ha­la:

Our na­ti­ve land is far away. Now in anot­her land we stay. We don’t for­get our land of birth, no mat­ter where we stay on earth.

Fat­her, as you have led us here, give us yo­ur wis­dom, love, and care. Show us a way to ser­ve all men, each day to help and pro­fit them.

May we es­tab­lish friends­hips new, may we be friend­ly neigh­bors, too. Yo­ur lo­ving pre­sen­ce stays with us; in grace alo­ne we hope and trust.

An­ja Kar­vo­nen-Käl­kä­jä

Trans­la­ti­on: S-L.L.

The blog post was pub­lis­hed in on­li­ne Päi­vä­mies on 6 Dec. 2016


Jee­sus sa­noi Pie­ta­ril­le: "Sinä olet Pie­ta­ri, ja täl­le kal­li­ol­le minä ra­ken­nan kirk­ko­ni. Sitä ei­vät tuo­ne­lan por­tit voi­ta. Minä olen an­ta­va si­nul­le tai­vas­ten val­ta­kun­nan avai­met." Matt. 16:18-19

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