December 11

Psalm 146:5-10

“The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” vs. 9

During the time of the psalmist people were on the move. When drought or famine came families didn’t stay where they were, they went to the places where they could find food and shelter. There were no fixed borders and no one worried about national identity or citizenship. People did keep track of tribal connections and they always knew who the strangers were. According to the psalmist the Lord watched over such persons. Accordingly there were special provisions in the Law to insure that they, along with orphans and widows, would be taken care of. We too live in a time where there are mass movements of refugees. All over the world people have been scattered for a variety of reasons: hunger, poverty, persecution, violence, the list goes on and on. In some places such persons have been welcomed with respect and kindness, in other places they’ve been turned away as a threat to security. Followers of Jesus, recognizing his refugee status as a child, will do whatever they can to show the Lord’s care for such strangers. Often they’ll provide food and shelter–sometimes they’ll find them employment and other support. Unfortunately, such welcoming has become controversial and divisive in our country. Some churches have been the targets of hate groups for providing shelter to asylum seekers. But we don’t really have a choice! The Lord watches over strangers. How can we turn our backs?

Thought for the Day: Why is immigration such a hot button issue?

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