We’re all refugees

Abraham was a landless migrant.

In Abraham, not only do we have an example of what it means to be a modern-day migrant, but also a metaphor of what it means to be human in a broken Creation.

As N. T. Wright points out, if we look at the meta-narrative of scripture, we see that, because of idolatry, God cast us out of Eden. Since then, both spiritually and physically, we have lost our true Home, our place with God, and have from that time only been getting glimpses of what our true Home is. (For ‘Home’ think belonging, love, security, open relationships, good memories and achievements, etc). Much is written in prose and poetry trying to get at what ‘Home’ once was and could be.

       Importantly though, through the grace of God, Abraham, the true example of a migrant, with no home and the added heartache of having no chance of a future with children, was chosen to begin God’s project of release from exile.

       This so fits the unfolding of God’s plan in the Old Testament narrative of Israel’s wandering in sin and God’s grace in bringing them out of exile.  This climaxes in Jesus choosing Passover in which to carry out his vocation of dying on the cross and resurrecting on the third day. Here, Jesus is the start (first-fruit) of bringing the whole of humanity back from the migration from Eden and beginning the New Creation. Exile is finished, our Home is restored and our future guaranteed. Maybe this is why the gospel has such an effect on modern-day migrants?           

Andrew Smith