Newcomers, including students, are continually coming to our country with hopes for a brighter future. They come not only for themselves but for their families whom they hope to sponsor in time.
Yet many, also those I know, come and find living here is really, really tough! High rents, high costs of living mean a very frugal budget. In my previous articles, I weighed in on how many of our international students are being exploited – even offering their bodies – to pay for their keep.
We may expand this list to include many newcomers. They can’t rely on family and friends. Who’s going to reach out to them, and help them? So many got lost in the crowd. They get involved in bad relationships, or turn to alcohol and drugs as their way to deal.
Then come the judgmental attitudes of close observers, “they’re bad!” or “Don’t talk to them!” or “They made their bed, let them lie in it” or “no one can help them. They are too far gone!’ I know families who hide their painful secrets out of the fear of harsh judgmental attitudes spreading around like wildfire.
Maybe you are fearing, even hearing, the sounds of harsh judgments. Is this where it all ends? Is there no hope? Is there no way out? Is there only judgment? Is there no one to turn to?
This does not mean we condone the sin or wrongdoing, whatever that sin or wrongdoing may be. But it does mean there is the offer of forgiveness and redemption. This is the message of Easter.
Easter is celebrated on April 17 this year. It is on a Sunday. On the Friday before Jesus gave His life on the cruel cross as the only sacrifice for sins. This means He took the judgment and curse for sin. For whose sin? For the sin of all who trust in Him to forgive them. On Easter, that is Sunday, He arose again from the dead – bodily! This shows that God completely accepts the judgment Christ bore for our sin. By believing in Him, we receive a changed life; that is, a new beginning. A new start.
With Christ, life does not end in judgment, but with God’s grace and mercy! Despair breaks out into a hope that never dies out!