Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, March 31, 2017
A Quarter of Syria’s Population Has Fled. What Does That Look Like? – The scale of Syria’s refugee crisis is dizzying.
As the war there stretches into a seventh year, more than five million citizens, nearly a quarter of Syria’s prewar population, have fled their country, seeking shelter mainly in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the United Nations refugee agency said Thursday.
With no end to the war in sight, Filippo Grandi, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, predicted that 480,000 more Syrians would become refugees in need of resettlement this year. That is as if the entire population of Sacramento abandoned the city — and the country — over the course of the next nine months.
Since the conflict began in 2011, an estimated 400,000 people have been killed.
Readings from Isaiah 35.3-4 for Friday, March 31, 2017
Someone may say, “God is too far, I cannot reach him.” This passage says, “You don’t have to reach God, he is coming to you.” If you study the life of Jesus, the majority of his miracles brought healing to infirmed people. Physical healing is one side of inner spiritual healing. This promise speaks of a personal God, who personally cares for humanity. God gives life to the desert and to people who need his care.
Isaiah 35.3-4 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”
Prayer for Friday, March 31, 2017
Dear God, we pray for those who feel you are too far away and unapproachable. Please come to them and grant them your presence that will bring wholeness to their lives.