The resource explores how Christian Reformed theology relates to faith and forced migration and was part inspired by last summer’s Shoulder to Shoulder interfaith pilgrimage.
Four areas of practice for theological reflection are examined – lament, wrestling and reconciling, reciprocal hospitality and pilgrimage – and the booklet is interspersed with real life stories of people with direct experience of forced migration, and examples of how churches and faith groups in Scotland can respond which are applicable across the rest of the UK and Ireland.
Christian Aid Scotland’s Wendy Young worked with David Bradwell from Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees to produce Becoming Human Together which is aimed at Christian ministers, preachers, worship-leaders and those involved in setting and influencing the policy of their churches.
In a conclusion which references the parable of The Good Samaritan, the publication concludes that “Jesus makes clear that our love for God is expressed in the love for our neighbour.”
Our neighbour, according to the story of the good Samaritan, is the one treated with suspicion, even regarded as an enemy. Yet, it is this ‘other’ who demonstrates mercy, who brings healing and restoration … It is a story about becoming human together, beyond status and categories. The practices of lament, wrestling, reciprocal hospitality and pilgrimage are just a few suggestions as to how we might best love our neighbour as ourselves, whoever they are …
The practice of lament leads us to pause before taking action, to momentarily bear the weight of the scandal of inequality and atrocities of injustice that have forced many to migrate … The place of lament is not a slough of despond, but a launch pad to resistance and protest. From this place we will fly against the systemic injustice that contravenes and denies the justice of God for all people.
Inspired by the wrestling prayer … we gain a new understanding of how, exemplified by Ruth, the foreigner can be an incredible source of transformation and blessing.
… the practice of reciprocal hospitality […] inspires deeper solidarity; a move from charity to justice, from victimisation to agency, and the recognition that we all share the vulnerability of being human.
This age of migration coincides with the rediscovery of the practice of pilgrimage and the Church’s identity as pilgrims walking together towards the home of another possible world. ‘The Kingdom of God is where we belong. It is home, and whether we realize it or not, I think we are all of us homesick for it.’