URC Daily Devotion Friday 12th May 2023

Friday  12th May  Hope for a society that welcomes the stranger (part 1) 

Reading  Revelation 7:9-10

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,  ‘Salvation belongs to our God  who is seated on the throne,  and to the Lamb!’ 


I’m writing this reflection sitting on the beach in Brighton. It’s a beautiful sunny day, yet, when I look out at the vast expanse of sea, I often remember the thousands of lives that have been lost – met with unrelenting journeys in the pursuit of safety. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problem – to care deeply about these people but feel powerless to help them. It is overwhelming, but there are solutions. Continuing to campaign politically against anti-refugee legislation is one of these ways, alongside attempts to create more safe and legal routes for people to come to the UK or giving asylum seekers the right to work.  

One of the Joint Public Issues Team’s six hopes is for ‘a society that welcomes the stranger’. As part of this, we desire an asylum system that is centred on compassion and dignity and to equip people to pursue this.  

In today’s reading, we see a vision of a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne of God. This vision is a reminder of the universality of God’s love. It should inspire us into action, to work and pray for a world where all God’s children are treated with the compassion and dignity they deserve.

Sadly, the reality is that refugees are rarely treated with compassion and dignity. Under international law, refugees have well established rights to be protected. However, increasing waves of anti-refugee attitudes and laws in the UK are putting these at risk. The most recent of these has been the Nationality and Borders Bill. JPIT campaigned heavily against this on the basis that it criminalises and punishes vulnerable asylum seekers who have little choice about arriving in the UK by ‘irregular routes’.  

At a time where the two largest political parties at Westminster seem intent on slamming the door to refugees, it is so vital to have voices of God’s love and kindness speaking into these debates. 


Dear God,  
We pray for all those who are forced to flee their homes and seek refuge. 
We ask that you bring them comfort, strength and hope. 
May all those who are displaced find a safe refuge. 
Draw near to them and guide them to places of peace. 
Help us to be instruments of your love and compassion,
to bring hope and healing to our broken asylum system.   Amen

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