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Reader Opinion: The face of Jesus

"Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you? And he will answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me....

"Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you? And he will answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'" Matthew 25:44-45.

As Quakers and Christians, we, the Brainerd Friends Meeting, feel compelled to recognize that the Syrian refugees are precisely those Christ is referring to in this Biblical passage. It is heartbreaking to read about those who are fleeing an intolerable, terrifying situation who have nowhere to turn. We need to ask ourselves if we are turning our backs on Jesus when we refuse to offer these people refuge. There are some Christians who tell us to fear the very people that Christ is commanding us to welcome and love. When we look into the face of a Syrian refugee, we are looking into the face of Jesus himself. We are called to love-acts of kindness and love disarm our enemies.

"Love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear." I John 4:18

Thank you.

Laurence P. Chamberlain,

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Clerk, Brainerd Friends Meeting

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