"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, " Ephesians 2:19
Every four years the Olympic games welcomes the best and most supremely trained athletes from all around the world to compete under their country's flag. But, thankfully, this year's games in Rio went a step further by allowing 10 refugees from war-torn countries, that had no flag to participate under, to come together and compete under the Olympic flag. When the IOC announced the plans back in March, President Thomas Bach said, "By welcoming the team of refugee olympic athletes to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, we want to send a message of hope for all refugees in our world. Having no national team to belong to, having no flag to march behind, having no national anthem to be played, these refugee athletes will be welcomed to the Olympic Games with the Olympic flag and with the Olympic Anthem.”
Considering UNICEF reported that an average of 24 people were forced to flee their homes every minute during 2015 (with half of them being children), sending a message of hope is indeed a great idea. And there is definitely hope because God's word tells us that when we choose to follow him, we "are no longer strangers and aliens," with no country or people to identify with, "but are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God". This means that no matter what country a person was born into or now lives, whether one at peace or at war, they can be welcomed as citizens of a Kingdom far greater than their own... one built on a Foundation that can never be demolished, overrun or destroyed and one they can never be forced out of.
Desmond Tutu once wrote, "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." May each one of us then do that little bit of good today by reminding others that, through Jesus Christ, there is hope in spite of the darkness around them. And may we then pray that this 'message of hope' will overwhelm the world!
Heavenly Father, thank you for being the light and refuge in a dark world where so many people are without an earthly home. Help us to have hearts to help others Lord, whether through action or prayer, that they might know that there is hope in You. It's in your precious name we pray, Jesus. Amen.
Hope changes everything - New Song