In keeping with the theme of the Forum this year, ‘How to love the stranger living among us’, I will be leading us as we explore a biblical theology of migration.
Migration is, of course, a hugely relevant topic in the world at the moment, with vast and increasing numbers of migrants fleeing instability and poverty to seek a better life in Europe. With the UK considered by many hopeful travellers as the ‘holy grail’ of destinations, it shouldn’t surprise us that the government office for statistics (ONS) predicts a UK population increase of 10 million over the next 25 years. The biggest single factor behind this projected increase is the influx of working-age migrants into the UK and the children born to them within these shores.
What should we make of these things as Christians in the UK today? Is this a regrettable state of affairs that threatens our ‘Christian heritage’ or a sovereignly directed divine opportunity? Or perhaps those are false alternatives and the answer is some combination of the two? What does the Bible say about migration and the right attitudes to have towards immigrants? Why does God move people about?
To ground our Biblical thinking in concrete realities I will also be sharing the stories of one or two real life UK migrants and describing how, in coming to Britain, they found a living faith in Jesus Christ as their saviour and Lord.
My intention is to motivate and encourage us in our interactions with people from overseas and to give solid biblical foundations to remind us why we do what we do and to sustain us over the long haul.