During this age of global unrest, many people are uneasy about the influx of foreigners into the country they know and love. There can be a myriad of concerns about welcoming strangers into one’s nation, particularly those who come from areas of the world whose belief systems may be in contention with our own. We want to protect our traditions, our values, and our children. Often, we feel that people who are different from us jeopardize the well-being and future of our nation.
In Genesis 1:27, we see that “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” In verse 64:8, Isaiah says to the Lord, “all of us are the work of Your hand.” Not some. Not just the ones who look, think, and talk like us, but all.
Many of us know this in our head. But it can be hard to move it to our heart. Even Christians struggle with this. In verse 3:9, James says that with our tongue, “we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God.”
We love our homeland. We want to honor God. We have a lot of “new people.” How do we put it all together?
In our reading in Matthew, we see that Jesus values the stranger and rewards those who invite them in. He goes so far as to say that when we do it for the “least of these,” we do it for him. When you show kindness to the stranger, you are showing kindness not only to God’s precious creation but to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You are honoring Him.
In Luke, chapter 24, we see two disciples on the road to Emmaus after the death of Christ. They had no idea that the stranger who joined them on the road was actually Jesus. They engaged in conversation with him, and when at night they saw he had farther to go, they invited him to stay with them as it was late. Together they broke bread and rested. These men were literally showing the love of Christ to Christ, though they had no idea.
Today, we thank the Lord that He loves all people.
We pray that He would enable us to do the same.