“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19 v 14
As I write this we are in the grip of media coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis. The desperate situation has been developing over weeks and months but the photo of a drowned three-year-old boy lying on a beach has brought matters to a head. What can be done to alleviate the suffering of these people? How can peace be brought to the land? And why do we not learn from mistakes of the past?
Inevitably the question of where God is in all of this will be asked. Whilst the causes of this tragedy are complex and we cannot fully understand the world we live in, the picture of that young boy brings my thoughts to Jesus. No matter what situations people find themselves in, and whoever is to blame, we can turn to one who laid aside all his power and privilege to come into the world. Born in a room full of animals far from his parents’ home, his family had to flee from a jealous, sadistic ruler who thought nothing of slaughtering innocent infants. He grew up in a land occupied by a despised empire in a nation that longed for freedom. Despite his compassion and selfless giving of himself to others he was slandered, betrayed and mocked. Laying aside all his power he surrendered himself to his accusers and died a shameful, excruciating death. And he did all this because he loves us.
Jesus Christ is the only one who can bring true peace into any situation and any human heart. Our only concern is to allow him to transform us to be more like Him so that we are his heart, head and hands in this suffering world.