…When I was a Stranger you invited me in…

The Political View

The anti-immigration view is clearly displayed throughout the news, as seen here: http://conservativetribune.com/brewer-fight-obama/

The Spiritual View

That view of fear of lack of resources and fear of loosing what we have, if we help others – is not Biblical but physical. If one where an atheist it would be a logical belief.  You only  have so much in hand, so how can you give to another?  But all spiritual beliefs teach that what we get is not from our own effort – but through the effort of a spiritual source or law.  In Buddhism it is Karma.  In Christianity it is God.  In Hinduism, it is both God and Karma at play.

All spiritual paths agree that God (or Divine Source, Cosmic Mind, etc) is unlimited in power.  There is no need to fear lack for ourselves.

I admire the teachings of Jesus, for he already answered this problem.

In Matthew 25:31-46, it says:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “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.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

 

What’s important here, is that verses 35-40 speak directly to our daily lives and events in the world right now.  It says that: When I was hungry you fed me, thirsty you gave me drink and when I was a stranger you took me in.

Notice, it doesn’t say: when I was hungry you gave me a job so I could work for my food… or when I was a stranger who followed your legal advice, after a period of 2 years you allowed me in…  It is instead Universal.  When I was hungry you fed me, when I was thirsty you gave me drink and when I was a stranger you let me in.

A stranger can be someone who is new to your church.  Letting them in, is easy.  A stranger can also be someone who is openly divergent from your belief, yet you let them in to your church.  But what else could a stranger be?  What is a greater stranger than an immigrant (legal or otherwise?)

Hard Giving That Counts

Remember, it’s easy to let someone in your church.  It’s easy to give to the homeless when you have a lot to give.  It’s the hard giving that counts, because it is done with FAITH.  Hard giving requires reliance upon the Divine for your own supply.

When the human mind says, “well it’s only logical that we have X jobs and if I let in these people, then the jobs will dry up and I’ll be out of work.”  Or, “if we add programs to help person in group XYZ, then my taxes will increase and I won’t be able to afford [some list of wants and needs.]”

It’s in those Hard Situations, that we have to give.  That’s what real action is.  How hard is it to give $5 to a man if you have $2000 in the bank?  How hard is it to give $5, when you have $5?  But when you give with a open heart and knowledge that God provides – that’s when God DOES provide.

So let’s start now. Through out the “what if” fears and turn on the Bible faith and find deep down the need to let strangers in.

The Point

The point is this:

  • Feed the hungry, clothe those in need, help the stranger feel welcome
  • Give when it’s hard, for that’s when FAITH is utilized
  • Know that God provides

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