“The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as
yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:34
The report came out this past week that the Department of Homeland Security is advising asylum seekers to ‘learn to deal with homelessness’. Yes, we the people of the United States are putting policy in place that nearly guarantees homelessness for a many of those coming to us as refugees.
This goes so strongly against scripture. As Leviticus states, it is not how God intends for us to treat the foreigner. Yet we are allowing it to become policy. As Christians, we cannot remain silent about this and we must reject such policy, and stand on the principle Jesus taught us:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one
another.” John 13:34
A broader picture of this comes to mind. As we sit comfortably in our reopening churches and try to recapture the days gone by, are we accepting the “foreigner”? Not just those coming to this country, fleeing poverty, war, terror and injustice, but also those just outside our building walls? Don’t we treat those outside our ‘bubble’ as foreigners as well?
In the sermon Sunday, which can be reviewed at our website (parkhillcc.org) or YouTube Channel (Park Hill Christian Church KC) or even on Facebook (Park Hill Christian Church KCMO), we learned of the slave woman Hagar. In a sense, she was a ‘foreigner’. As a slave she had no say in her life. She came from Egypt into Abraham’s family. She was treated cruelly and with contempt, an outsider to the family. Yet God was with her.
Outside our walls there are many ‘foreigners’, many such as Hagar. God is with them and He wants us to be with them as well. In his email message last week Reverend Peeples wrote of Father Gregory Boyle’s message of ‘ripping the roof off’ and how we have become so comfortable in our club house that we have forgotten to reach outside the walls. Isn’t it true, just as on a national scale we are putting policies in place to turn away the ‘foreigner’, we have put practices in place to turn them away from our churches? This is not what Jesus would do.
In fact, we are told.
“… who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:4
Jesus came so that all might be saved, including the ‘foreigner’. And what is even more evident, as we learn from Hagar’s story, God is already there. He is with the ‘foreigner’ making a way for them in the desert. We are called to be a part of that, not a stumbling block.
Whether on a national level or at the local community, we must open our hearts and our doors to the stranger. We must step out in faith and trust that the Lord of Lords is going to lead us into a new revival with all those around us. As Reverend Peeples stated, Jesus is already out there, it is time we step out of our comfortable club house and begin welcoming the ‘foreigners’ all around us.
It is time to stop the petty bickering and jealous control of resources and reach out to a world broken and hurting.
It is time to show the love of Christ to all people in real and substantial ways.
The time is now to end the practice and policy of division and to bring together all the people for the glory of the Lord.
Let our voices be heard in the neighborhood, the cities, the nations; we are the people of God and we will move as God moves to protect, serve and honor all peoples, for it is His will that none will be lost.
We're Park Hill Christian Church in KC MO. We seek to follow Jesus by praising God, loving those we meet and serving the vulnerable.