“You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:19)
These verses challenge us to love our God and our neighbor with our actions. God loves the stranger, and so provides food and clothing, instructing the Israelites to do the same. Jesus called the stranger our neighbor: the Samaritan in the parable loved the stranger in need, and so provided care and shelter.
Are immigrants indeed our neighbors? Jesus taught his disciples that the definition of a neighbor goes beyond our comfort zone. Sometimes love in action will take us outside of our boundaries of comfort. One of the challenges and blessings of viewing those around us in love is that it complicates many of our concerns.
National security is an important issue in the immigration discussion. How do we respond to immigration raids that tear families apart? Some immigrants enter the U.S. illegally, without documents. How can our response take into account their reasons for leaving their home country, their hope of providing for themselves and their families?
Love complicates our views and opinions.And it is where our discussions about immigration should start.
Songs and hymns
Comfort, comfort O my people (Hymnal: A Worship Book 176)
Whatsoever you do (Sing the Story 52)
Beauty for brokenness (Sing the Story 115)
How can I say (Sing the Story 117)
Christ’s is the world (Sing the Journey 62)
We are the body of Christ/Somos el cuerpo de Cristo (Sing the Journey 64)
God of the widow and the stranger,
you are made known in our Savior Jesus Christ.
Born as a migrant,
exiled as a refugee,
he knew the pain of homelessness
but taught his friends the meaning and challenge of love.
Lead us as we build communities
rooted in hospitality and justice. Amen.
- World Council of Churches, “In Solidarity with Uprooted Peoples,” November 1997
O God of the harvest, despite the prosperity of this
there are children in our fields,
children who work to help their families,
children who cannot go to school regularly
children who are exposed to pesticides
children whose parents cannot support them from
the wages they earn.
Bring a harvest of love into our hearts
so that we may work for justice in our world
and justice for the children in the fields.
- National Farm Worker Ministry