It’s hard to talk about Christianity in American culture right now without getting tangled up in politics — something I prefer not to do from the Catch if I can help it. But on the currently contested issue of immigration, I can’t help it. Mainly because there is a biblical mandate, both New and Old Testament, to welcome and make room for the stranger and the foreigner. If we are going to be marketplace Christians, we need to exhibit God’s attitude toward strangers and foreigners regardless of what our government does, and God is always placing them first. We may disagree over what we want the country to do or how they do it, but there is no discussion when it comes to us individually.
This is true for us as believers wherever we are in the world. Over forty times in the Old Testament, the Jewish people are admonished to welcome the stranger and the foreigner. And both Jesus and Paul speak of the same thing to us as followers of Christ. Hospitality toward strangers is built into our spiritual DNA.
Perhaps we can learn something from our Jewish friends. A recent article I read from a reputable source pointed out that there is a strong movement among Jews in America to aid and assist their Muslim neighbors and provide hospitality toward Muslim refugees among others. Syrian refugees can take English courses through a free program at a New York synagogue. One Rabbi claims that the current attitude of shunning immigrants being exhibited in America is “a betrayal of what this country stands for, what we Jews stand for, and is a terrible recollection of our own history… There has been an incredible coming together of synagogues around the country to welcome Muslim refugees. Jews really understand what it is to be ‘the other’ and to arrive in a strange country.” And now this same hospitality is being extended to Afghan refugees.
What is it to be “the other?” Many of us don’t know.
Read the full article: https://catchjohnfischer.com/2021/09/14/immigrants-song/#more-18081