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The Word on the Week

People as Pawns

People as Pawns                    Word on the Week                        4th May 2024.

‘The Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing.  So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt’ (Deuteronomy 10 verses 17 -19).

Or, these days, the US of A!    Once uprooted from ‘home and hearth’, in unfamiliar surroundings and in an alien culture, the refugee is dependent, to a large extent, on the people of the land where he has sought refuge.  

If the land is Ireland and he is a recent arrival, he may be excused for wondering where the Ireland of the 100,000 welcomes has gone.  Perhaps used by the 100,000 immigrants who have arrived here to date. Male refugees were met with tents which they pitched outside the Government Immigration Offices!    Food is supplied but water and toilets they would have to search for!

And in their searching they discovered the regular charity food sources in the city including The Lighthouse in Pearse Street, a Christian run centre supplying food and clothing to the needy.   At its busiest they were coping with 500 clients daily.

The authorities moved in to the tent camp early Wednesday morning and dismantled the tents loading them onto trucks and erecting barriers to prevent a return to the site.   They transported 290 men outside Dublin to the hotel at City West where they are to remain till their case is dealt with.   Additional staff have been assigned to the International Protection Office where they are trying to cope with a backlog of applications amounting to 20,000 at present!

There has been some hostility to the refugees.   Some properties designated to house them have been destroyed by fire.   Another tactic has been to try to intimidate the politicians involved in immigration by appearing in large numbers outside their private houses.   The positions of the immigrant and the anti-immigrant have never been further apart.

It was the same story in Ephesus.   The Apostle Paul found the Jew/Gentile conflict, as of now, created divisions.   These were healed by the preaching of the Good News that Christ had made a way by his blood shed on the cross both could have their sins forgiven and be reconciled to God and each other (Ephesians 2 verses 13 – 21).

Pawns have rights!   In chess they advance in a straight line.   They can also be changed to a more versatile piece when they reach their full potential!

Coming to faith in Christ is a surer way to realise it!