We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. Cesar Chavez
The Christian God and church can be a welcome place to rest, and in a time of mass migration around the world, United Methodist Churches have continued to welcome individuals and families fleeing violence, starvation, and poverty while leaving everything from their past lives behind.
Often travelling with only the clothes on their backs, we are reminded in the bible that immigrants, foreigners, strangers, and refugees are to be treated as our brothers and sisters.
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10: 17-19 NIV
But no stranger had to spend the night in the street,
for my door was always open to the traveler— Job 31-32 NIV
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrew 13:2 NIV
Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt. Exodus 23:9 NIV
So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:5 NIV
As we work hard to fill the pews of our local churches, and build a stronger community of faith throughout the world, let us not forget that God is sending visitors into our midst.
Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:37-40 NIV