There are now more refugees and migrants in the world than at any other point in human history. Today, more than ever before, unjust rulers, unfair global economics, unlivable environments, and impossible futures force millions of people to flee their homes and search for hopeful possibilities elsewhere. Countless people identify with the term “stranger.”
To be a stranger in ancient times was to risk everything. Merchants and pilgrims traveled, but everyday people did not. If a person happened to find themselves far from their home, tribe, or role in a community, that stranger’s entire existence would depend on the hospitality of strangers. So the repeated calls for welcome that are written throughout the Law of Israel mean salvation for vulnerable foreigners, even if they don’t know or worship the God of Jacob. God provides for the strangers, orphans, and widows through the hospitality and grace of God’s people, who God commands to be sacrificially generous to those most in need.
These ancient words still ring true because God is eternally faithful, and because God still requires us to extend life and hope to our fellow humans. God cares about those who are uprooted from their homes. God pays special attention to the people that the world has neglected. Justice for the wicked means hope, restoration, and joy to the people of God. What an honor to belong to such a God.
How can you be an agent of hospitality and grace?
God, may your goodness be evident through my life. May your Reign of justice and joy come soon. Amen.