If Chicago were Aleppo

 

Read: Philippians 2:1-4    

In a recent Reuter’s news article the question was posed, “what if London were Aleppo?”  The story went on to talk about what London would look like if it had endured a 6 year civil war and half of the city had become a desolate ghost town with bombed out buildings and terrible loss of life like the city of Aleppo, Syria has endured.  I had to wonder what it would look like closer to home in a city like Chicago.  Yes, Chicago has it’s problems with gun violence and killings but what would our daily news be like if it was enduring what Syria and Aleppo are experiencing?

Perhaps we need to care more for these people on the other side of the world, or perhaps we need to pay more attention to the plight of those suffering from war, abuse, and injustice around the world.  In Philippians 2 were are encouraged to look out for the interest of others.  In numerous other verses throughout the Bible we are encouraged to care for those in need and help as we are able.  For sure we should be praying for them.

Time magazine is following three Syrian families this year who had to flee their country because of  this civil war.  They have children and newborn babies and yet they are trying to figure out where to go next.  By following that story and reading of their experiences it has made me more aware of the struggles and challenges that these families endure.  It also has made me aware of my own blessed situation of peace and security.

Jesus gave us the perfect example of caring for those in need.  He reached out and did what he could to help, he put others before himself, and he genuinely cared about all people.  As followers of Jesus we must have the same mindset of Christ.  We should care even if these people are half way around the world instead of just up the road in Chicago or St. Louis.  There are needs everywhere at all times, God just wants us to care about those needs and be a witness of his love and compassion.  Please put these people at the top of your prayer list and pray about what God might be asking you to do.

Make it Personal:  Who can you help today?  It’s hard to help people in Syria but we can help those in need around us.  Think about who that might be this week.  In the meantime, continue to pray for peace in Syria and Iraq and an end to the war and violence that have destroyed so many lives there.  Pray for Chicago as well.  Finally, give thanks to God for the relative peace and comfort that most of us are blessed to live in.

Have a wonderful week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church