Hospitality = love for the stranger.
The stranger in the Bible is a test for our charity, a mirror that shames us and envious and a key person for knowing a multicolored God.
Filoxenia: love for the stranger. That is in God’s eyes hospitality.
In times of political and financial crises are often foreigners and migrants who suffer.
In the churches, the alien is quickly identified as the black sheep of the corruption and economic problems. But in any case not by Pope Francis.
But in any case not by Pope Francis.
Thus disappears from seeing what God has in mind with the arrival of the stranger in our midst.
The role of the alien in the Bible threefold:
1. A test for our charity,
2. A mirror that shames us and makes jealous and
3. a key person for knowing a multicolored God.
1. Test for our charity.
In the Old Testament, foreigners regularly addressed in the laws and regulations of Israel, which the Israelites are immediately reminded of their history as aliens in Egypt.
The evil that was done is, in fact, easier to repeat than good; it can be repeated as a kind of revenge.
The test of charity can result in an economic boon, or we are bringing our love for refugees and migrants in practice.
God’s care for the foreigner is also a recurring theme in the Old Testament.
He is self-namely those who love and care proves to the stranger (Psalm 146: 9 and Deuteronomy 10:18 ).
So he asks his people:
- to make conscious parts of the harvest for the poor among the strangers (Leviticus 23:22 )
fair legal treatment also of the foreigner (Deuteronomy 1: 16-17 ) and
the equal right to a day of rest (Exodus 20:10 ), so he does not force to work while able to harness the Israelites.
Even the inheritance of being mentioned by name in Israel stranger rooted in the division of the land (Ezekiel 47: 21-23).
God even goes so far that he connects his blessing to what I would call the test of mercy with regard to the weak.
If the Israelites are called upon to agree to celebrate a big party in the three years of the tithes they collect,
they prescribed to distribute those 10 percent of the Gross National Product among the gifts live Levites, among the widows, orphans, and strangers.
That the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work that makes your hand.
The Economic boon result of the test or we brings our love for refugees and migrants in practice.
The New Testament shows God back in the same line as in the Old Testament: caring for the least.
Again, God reveals himself again a God who cares for the least; the whore, the publican, and the stranger, like the Samaritan.
In fact, more than once, God identifies Himself in Jesus the lesser among us.
At his birth, there is already no place in the inn, and he must seek asylum in Egypt, and, later on, there is no place to lay his head and makes a grassroots women for gifts of living (Luke 8: 3 ).
He who calls us to be hospitable to those who are (left to anything Luke 14: 12-13 ) guest is itself at tax collectors and Samaritans.
In Paul’s letters is the Greek word for hospitality Filoxenia, which is significant at a time of me and our people first.
Filos means namely loved, and Xenos stranger, and so is hospitality in the biblical sense love for the stranger.
That is why Paul could say that some had thus housed angels (Hebrews 13: 2 ).
Little did they know who brought it in the house.
That love is immediately a test of leadership because in one Timoty 3: 2, Titus 1: 8 and 1 Peter 4: 9 says that hospitality is a prerequisite for a good leader.
So how loving are you as an elder and pastor for scary foreigners on the square at your church?
That defines genuine hospitality, not that cup of coffee for the indigenous neighbor.
In the end, Jesus himself explains the bar so high (or low, if you will) when it comes to the ultimate test for our charity; our attitude toward the least.
In his identification with that, we read in Matthew 25 that he include proven our hospitality in the person of a stranger, and you took me in.
Who stood the test of practical love for the stranger, may even look forward to eternal blessing.
2. Mirror shames us and envious.
One of the most characteristic features of the way God uses people, its inverse process.
He uses not the ones who stand in front, but the last in line. Not the strong, but the weak.
He let Joseph growing up in the desert and Moses in a palace but used in a palace Joseph and Moses in a desert.
He confounds the wise and notables in the world by those whom you least expect.
In the time of Jesus, it was not much different than now. Foreigners, whether they were Romans and Samaritans had no reputation.
Jesus Samaritan designation was hurled as an insult to his head in John 8 verse 48.
Do we sometimes say falsely that you are a Samaritan, and that you are possessed?
Conversely, Jesus Samaritan and another stranger again as a mirror for the Jews, to confound the self-styled wise from the unexpected angle.
A Samaritan is the only one of ten former lepers returned to thank Jesus for his healing.
This seems to be to the astonishment of Jesus (nobody Wild return else to honor God than this stranger), but from someone who’s hearts people knew it was more of a rhetorical question to the Jewish bystanders and the disciples who saw this fact rather overlooked.
but from someone who’s hearts, people knew it was more of a rhetorical question to the Jewish bystanders and the disciples who saw this fact rather overlooked.
Jesus shows the illustration of a Good Samaritan to the religious establishment to see what true charity is.
The central point here is no mercy but who here is merciful (and who does not).
In this time translated: Jesus preaching of the Good Moroccan in a church in the Bruges.
We are only awakened as the person who least expects it, do what we should have done.
Why the people of Nazareth to be so angry with Jesus that they want to push him into an abyss?
Did He speak of the union with his Father in heaven?
First, they called his words mercy rich, but then Jesus touches a sensitive spot, that of the Jewish religious pride.
It shows that even in the Old Testament God was able to pass his people or to help foreigners (Elijah and the widow of Zarephath ) and cure (Naman the Syrian) instead of Jews.
A mirror that unmasks our pride is perhaps the most confrontational, for he who humbles himself raises.
Imagine that your pastor in World War II an SS officer in the service calls forward and represents a symbol of faith, more than can be found in the Netherlands.
How would you feel?
That is what Jesus, when He and a Roman centurion, a foreign occupier, sees more faith that he has encountered throughout Israel.
Then he says that foreigners will still go ahead once the Jews in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Instead of anger may also lead to a sense of shame and healthy jealousy.
At least, such great faith had the Canaanite woman (Syro-Phoenician = current Lebanon) for her daughter.
Muslims want this part sometimes to cite to show how corrupt the Bible is.
Which good book shows does Jesus compare a woman with a dog?
But Jesus, the faith of this woman well realized, would the firm faith of a heathen just to show his disciples.
The shame of these Jewish nationalists.
This foreign mirror for Jesus loved the Jews, was ultimately intended to make them jealous.
Just as Paul wanted to reach Jews everywhere to call his ministry among the Gentiles (Romans 11:14 ).
I recognize it when I hear witnesses Iraqi Christians in our church that has an unyielding influence.
I often think, would be native Belgians who left the church of their grandmother have and believe that the Christian faith is done away, but more often listen to the stories of refugees who have come to know Christ.
Many Christians from outside the West have something to teach us about the richness of faith, the spirit, and joy.
Maybe it is not obvious to Jews jealous with the faith of Gentiles.
Or native Belgians with the conversion of a refugee.
But is not that precisely the opposite direction who is often God?
3. Indispensable for knowing a multicolored God.
Our western culture has a strange tendency to talk to two extremes when it comes to differing.
On the one hand, no country in the world known a compartmentalization like us.
Or do you think of the apartheid, but that is also again the only Dutch word used worldwide.
Do we love to ask where is that from? Or where you come from?
We have so many words to describe as immigrants; we do not know what we should use.
On the other hand, we are fond of leveling of differences.
Do not be too strange, no, do normal, that’s crazy enough.
Male and female, high and low-ranking, children and adults, everyone, is equal.
Differences are equality must adapt, especially in the way, so foreigners.
The Bible has a very different view of the differences between people.
If we thought behind suits, which immediately gives a broader view of God himself!
In James, the church addressed exhorting my brothers and sisters, do you believe in Jesus Christ, our glorious Lord, you should no longer distinguish ( James 2: 1 ).
And then a rich and poor visitor service are exemplified because they get a good and bad place assigned respectively.
Therefore do not discriminate and judge if not by erroneous considerations? Is asked in verse 4.
In our churches too often distinguish on the basis of impure motives.
Those with less intelligence, less education, and less money can be quite less interesting for the church.
But even those who do not speak Dutch well, strange habits owns or has a different faith.
The alien may be sidelined in the interplay of a municipality.
In Christ nullified many reasons for discrimination. When Paul in Colossians 3:11 says: Then there is no question of Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all in all, it was a radically different view of differences Jews who pursued ethnic purity.
There was Galatians 3:28 then again at that emphasizes the equality of man and woman.
So it could happen that you sat at the supper as a Jewish master next to a female slave of pagan origin.
That was incredibly revolutionary at that time! What Paul had in mind?
Paul never meant that the loss of compartmentalization in the church of distinction by the judgment would lead to leveling of differences.
Men and women are equal but remain different.
Very practical, he says in 1 Timothy 6 a subordinate when a slave, now, for example, a worker his master to remember his respect because they are brothers. Instead, he must serve him with even more commitment because of he is the one who uses its services, connected with faith and love.
They sit together at dinner (no difference) does not mean that they are equals in the workplace (or difference).
The disappearance of distinction in Christ must, in fact, lead to greater respect for differences!
If we apply that to the stranger in our midst, it means that we first make no distinction in the Church between those who are different (immigrants) and those who are native.
Or, as Ephesians 2 that says the wall is broken down between Jew and Gentile, and thus also between nations.
So if you are no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19).
The differences do not have to be erased.
We are not converted to uniformity.
These differences can be celebrated.
The word pagan or non-Jew is often the Greek word Ethn uses that we know of ethnic groups, or nations.
These nations are by Christ, the head, gathered in his body.
The goal is thus to demonstrate a unit reflects God’s variegation.
Thus, now the wisdom of God known in all its shades by the church ( Ephesians 3:10 ).
Never a single nation or nations or languages could interpret the glory of God’s greatness.
There are all ethnicities and languages needed.
No wonder Jesus returns until his gospel in the world is known.
Imagine that there is no language or ethnic group.
God’s glory, but also his love, will never be fully understood if we do not have every believer there.
After Paul explained, in Efezian 3 that all nations are fellow heirs, members of the same body and share in the promises he works towards a final sentence before he bursts into praise, namely: you will with all the saints the length and width, can understand the height and depth, to know the love of Christ (verses 18 and 19).
With all the saints is what more than a few nominations together.
That means with saints from all the nations on earth.
Without those who are still foreign to us, God and his love will never be known in all versatility.
So we have a prospect that we will ever be united without confusion and misunderstanding in unity with all languages and nations around the throne of God.
Longing we all so intense on that day we would see Him face to face.
Realizing that we together here can experience a taste, for example in my network where people already are members from 115 countries.
Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but
fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.
In whom all the building fitly framed together, in a temple, holy to the Lord, built-in whom ye also becomes a habitation of God through the Spirit.
Therefore, I, Paul,
for the sake of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, are in captivity; you have heard of
the stewardship of God’s grace given to me in order to you, to me by revelation was published the mystery, as I have.
Above in writing brief them
there to please you to read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages not been made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to the saints, his apostles and prophets
[this mystery], that the Gentiles are fellow heirs,
fellow members and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I became a servant to the grace gift of God which was given me according to the working of his power . ”
Ephesians 2: 19-3: 7
” When the Son of Man comes
in His glory and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of His glory.
All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as the shepherd-sheep separates from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right hand, saying,
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom that you is prepared from the foundation of the world off.
For I was hungry, and you gave me food.
I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink
: I was a stranger, and you welcomed me,
naked and you gave me clothed, sick, and ye visited me:
I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying,
Lord, when did we see you hungry and we feed you, or thirsty and we? You drinkwhen did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say:
Verily I say unto you since ye have done it unto one of these my least brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then he will say to those on his left, saying:
Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:
I was a stranger, and you welcomed me not welcome,
naked and ye clothed me,
sick and in prison and you visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying:
Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or sick, or in prison? We have not served
Then shall he answer them, saying,
Verily I say unto you since ye did it not to one of these least,
ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment,
but the righteous into eternal life. ”
Matth.25: 31- 46
Every religion has, at least, two forms:
1. The teaching by teachers, the sacred writings of the Wise and
2. The way we understand this and put into practice what the people are told.
Believers of the Bible, the biblical vision of paramount importance, but have it only gained insight through experience with erroneous interpretations of concepts and as such have learned to deal with it.
Especially in turbulent and confusing times like these,
it seems to dominate the misunderstandings and misinterpretations and take the appropriate application of biblical teaching to us off.
So it is now customary to think that all the ” aliens ” [especially Muslims and Economic migrants who visit our country] will possibly do crimes against us, we consider it a dangerous thing that they stop in our neighborhood and take it for granted that we accordingly have the right to keep them in our community or environment, we operate them do as much as we can as cheap labor and annoy us when they are assigned the same rights as any other citizen.
The hatred inducing views of some political leaders.
We see political leaders take extreme positions – as the borders are closed and decisive action – which can lead to extreme positions, which may result in populations of violence committed against them and treat them jeering and harassing, is beating in the chest by itself ” nationalist “or” patriots to appoint.”
Let’s see what people from abroad – whether or not a political refugee – for precious spiritual heritage with them.
Attention !: many readers will now perhaps uneasy and done get, they could understand and see my words wrong: ”What do you want? Do you let them take our land? You let us not rob and our Faith [by Muslims] to killing? “
First, there are so few believers, and those who are left, will not allow themselves to convert to another faith.
The majority of the population is already disbelieved, so can no longer decrease.
So no one needs to roll with that argument.
On the contrary, more and more biblical Christians to keep up good relations with Muslims.
Most Christians have been threatened in their existence in one way or another.
Many are afraid to show only that they have some connection with the church.
But remember that even the simple preservation of
the three mighty conquerors:
The European Union [showing its true face – only the monetary gain – which brings us to the financial crisis] and
Multinationals use us and pick their noses for workers and docile consumers.
We live in a culture where even European countries are likely to be closed out.
Look at what one of Greece has imposed (on the sale of patrimony and politics imposed by technocrats and banking institutions.
This triple foreign interference does not get the attention, no one condemns their behavior, not winding up, let alone that one is against weathered!
The actual oppressors and plunderers of freedom.
Remove diseased ” indignation ” towards refugees from emergency direction will our rich west and grab the real oppressors with their obscene worship of savings and large banks.
It is also obvious that the police and the judiciary, law enforcement should be
keep up and protect us from bandits and murderers, but also, the defense has a price, which like other issues in need of real solutions.
We are indeed besieged by many foreign gangs whose Mexican and Italian mafia is probably still the biggest, but we also have just as many and powerful gangs, the profiteers, who take incredible income through corruption within the European institutions; Every foreigner is not necessarily a villain.
Large companies and banks do not go unpunished by their fraud and tax havens.
Let us not remember a whole series of foreign girls are exploited in prostitution.
In fact, we are no longer human, but victim [addicted] to a fallen world.
Now let us as Christians, children, and grandchildren of Christians do speak to us.
Our God became the man, not as a hero or a truculent party leader,
[which was idolized by European citizens and other northern Aryans], but a simple powerful God-man who became the victim of world rulers and conquered death that he saved humanity, and showed us how to live.
that what the world incessantly “suckers lists” who sacrifice themselves without expecting anything in return.
I’m not saying that ” nothing is contrasted.
Only, the more you radiate the love of God and love your neighbor, the more the Christian has sacrificed, the closer you approach the Kingdom of Heaven.
But this does not seem possible in a carefree paradise, so you turn godlessness and “successful” back to life.
In Christ, we have become a full member of the household of God.
And I believe there is a possibility to become financially independent without compromising or act unethically themselves.
We do not have to accept the marginal, foreign worldly oriented affair during our earthly life; We do not belong to this world.
” Now, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God .”Ephesians 2: 19
The Apostle Paul refers to “no more” to the Ephesians but the then non-members and those who consider the current full limbs of the family of God.
He teaches that the Church is the true people of God, based on the Messiah our Lord.
Church rescues the human community whose members are heirs of God’s promises under the Old Covenant, which now is fulfilled in Christ.
The Church offers salvation.
Paul’s statement indicates that the Church offers salvation, the Gospel, sent by the Prophets [God the Holy Spirit] the salvation promised to the people of both Israel and us in our time.
So Israel inheritance in the Church remained.
Anyone, Jew or Gentile that Jesus Christ confesses the Lord in the Body is a partaker of God’s promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News,
“[this mystery], that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members and fellows of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Eph.3: 6 the ministry of our Lord and His apostles put an end to certain expectations about our possessions [and those of ancient Israel].
In that sense we can say that we also failures, setbacks or downs meet in our online activities, we continue to see everyone happy.
It opened membership in Christ’s Church, not only to Israel but to all people on earth.
Those Jews – including the Twelve Apostles, Paul, the Seventy, and all the others who came after them, including Muslims – who follow Christ as Messiah were offered by the Lord Jesus, the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit, the grace of God to accept the Father.
As a Jew who became joint heirs with Christ, they fought any attempt to get rid of the strictures [coercion] of faith in Christ,
the Old Covenant to limit the ritualism.
At the same now, they confirmed boldly the Church as the heir of God’s promises – as the true Israel of the Old Covenant.
We are taking us today, for centuries considered later when Christians declare also that we Israelites [the Israeli Authority] are.
This is not just an act using mental gymnastics.
In fact, we are ” fellow citizens with the saints” of the old Ephesians 2: 19 , and including Abraham, Isaac, Israel [Jacob],
Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Elijah and all the prophets.
We are the true chosen people of God.
What does this mean?
Paul reveals here that the Church one is a creation of the Holy Trinity:
a new nation based on the
- Lord Jesus, which must comply
to the will of God our Father,
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Christian Church thus offers salvation to “all nations.”
We get a full membership in Christ,
become part of “one holy temple in the Lord. . . one dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2: 21-22
God, as Paul proclaims, is as a man born in a city [Bethlehem], where were his human parents’ foreigners and they really have no room to stay there and He was born in a stable; He who wants to take himself more strangers and foreigners.
Then was he a worldly-minded king fled hunted was immigrant and followed his worldly father and mother to Egypt to slain the settings of the eternal enemy of humanity [the devil] would be, to keep trying him.
And his human adoptive father found work as a foreign worker.
Do not ask how they experienced it themselves?
The growth of our God into the world around us depends on
– the Alien, which from country to country roads to find salvation, which was denied him
– the stranger, who “no place to lay his head down ” and
– the stranger, who is slain by his countrymen as if it were a stranger
was even at the mercy of strangers [the Romans].
Jesus was the God-man, the great Stranger, who by “us” never seems to be understood and
by some, always [but especially now] is mocked in society as a ” poor in spirit ” a “loser.”
Joseph of Arimathea.
On Good Friday, we sing a touching hymn, where the Saint Joseph of Arimathea [secret disciple of Christ who manifested fearful after the crucifixion] who went to Pilate and asked:
“Δώσε μου αυτόν τον ξένο, συμπατριώτες του τον μισούν, και τον έχουν σκοτωθεί ως ξένος “,
which means ” Give me this stranger, his countrymen hate him and have slain him like a stranger. ”
The Good Samaritan.
Jesus has shown us how the man the Kingdom of Heaven can accomplish when He spoke of the good Samaritan because everybody thought that the Samaritans [people who lived in the center of Israel] were potential traitors and scum [Matt. 25: 31-46 ].
The wisdom of God, however, just launched a limited extent, it seems that the transmission of the Word is drowned out by background noise.
Christ turns to us and says:
” Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children, for behold, the days are coming when they will say.
Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed
Then shall they begin to say to the mountains:
Fall on us, and to the hills. Cover us for if they do these things in a green tree? what shall be done with the dry. ”
One should not want to dominate, however, but should:
” You know that those who rulers of the Gentiles are called,
eercise dominion over them and their great men exercise authority over them.
So, however, it is among you.
But whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant, and
whoever wants to be first among you, all slaves will be “.
Matth.20: 25-27 ; Marc.10: 42-44 and Luc.22: 25-26
Then sent Large Alien His disciples to ” all nations bringing” the good news and
they emigrated and brought Christianity to people in foreign countries.
So, here are other “foreigners”! Holy foreigners.
- the Celts of Britain [holy Aristobulus, one of the 70 disciples of Christ]
– India [H. Thomas, the former “infidel”] and
most were killed after torture by foreigners as foreigners they were buried in a foreign country and we carry the Divine Liturgy with altars – which as a blessing – contain their miraculous relics.
“Christians live as visitors in their homeland.
Every foreign land is their homeland and every homeland is foreign to them.”
letter to Diogenite 2 e century AD.
This is because our true homeland is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Our earthly homes are temporary.
the lack of love, from which we are willing to commit crimes [for example, to torture prisoners or abusing women] are obstacles to our real and permanent home in Paradise.
So nationalism is inconsistent with Christianity.
The Christian Empire of the Roma, the Romagna / ” Byzantium “) was not nationalistic:
all peoples inhabiting the territory and had equal rights and the saints from abroad were anything honored by all Christians.
Typical examples are the great Syrian Fathers, St. Ephraim the Syrian [the great poet], the H. Isaac the Syrian [the ‘philosopher of love].
Only when their writings were translated from Greek into Syriac and were, they became the Byzantines into oblivion [Syrians themselves and mentioning they were convincing “Byzantine”].
Like the Greeks spread the culture brought this Christianity to other countries, which were not subject, but instead, allies were made and the translation of the Bible [the creation of an alphabet, so that was not there], launched a new chapter in the great cultures of other nations.
in addition, ROMA ( “Byzantine” the church established, ie the universal church, a calendar where saints of all European countries were included in, incl. great Britain and Ireland!
Greece, which under the lived Moslem rule were like now nationalists but were indifferent about whether they are in Albania, Bulgaria, Romania or Moldova Greek, Roman or were Slavic-speaking, even in Cappadocia living, Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christians brought great ascetics and saints on. the great and miraculous saint Arsenios the Cappadocian [sleep in Corfu, where he ended up as refugees], the people of God, created in Asia Minor from the catastrophe and preached in Greek as well as Turkish, because he and the Christians did not know who now Greek was and who was not.
They were all called Rum.[= descendants of the Byzantine Empire] and when a Christian from distress Muslim was, they called him “Roma” [Romios was], and they were physically persecuted as traitors by the Ottoman state [we know for a reason many saints who tortured were, because
they were converted to Orthodoxy from Islam].
Among the martyrs of the Ottoman Empire are foreigners recognized as saints, as the Holy great Martyr Xρυσή [is ‘ Gold ‘ with Bulgarian nationality],
H. Nicodemus of Elbasan [Albania], etc.
So what about the saints, which I as a Christian worship,
is this the descent from abroad as an ” inferior considered ‘or uncivilized people?
When a man is suppressed whether he is black, gypsy, gay or female, disabled, widows and orphans, slave or foreigner etc.
Bulgarian, Greek, Lebanese, Syrian, Serbian, Romanian, Russian or Dutch, I’m just a Christian despite the many nuances and places.
We live for Christ sample in Love peacefully with one another along and among us are foreign immigrants subordinated hidden or unconscious selfishness, but on the way, we deal with our common saints.
Everybody seems in our secularized civilization tend to have an isolated life with the aim to protect themselves from all the surrounding uncertainty.
However, the stranger, the immigrant the figure par excellence of the man the Good News brings to Christians on the way to the Kingdom.
The Apostle Peter says no different when he writes:
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against your soul and that you lead a good conversation among the Gentiles, that they further supervisory to that in which they slander you as evildoers, by virtue of your good works, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Petr.2: 11.12
Yes, we are all strangers in this world.
We are all like Abraham, who had left his country without knowing where he was going.
This is the fundamental confession of faith:
you detach from your origin to leave for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Christ’s Church is in fact called to share the gospel in word and deed with brothers and sisters who had to flee because of their faith in order to survive and those who do not know Christ yet.
What the Bible says about this vocation, evidenced by several concepts: hospitality, alien, and refugee.
In the Bible, the hosting is very important. Who is somewhere guests can expect hospitality.
Upon seeing three aliens, including God Himself, Abraham puts them right away water, bread, milk, and meat.
He also offers them water to wash their feet and a shaded area to rest.
It was a defeat for Abraham as the guests were ignoring him.
(Gen.18: 1-8 ).
If later the inhabitants of Sodom, the two strangers in their city – the angels of God – like rape, is not only reprehensible plan but also the grossest breach of hospitality (Gen.19: 4-11 ).
When the Israelites on their journey through the desert at the “brother people” Edom asking for a free passage of the Edomites show no hospitality, but enmity (Num.20: 14-21 ).
David also gets a “closed door” when he joined the rich farmer Nabal knocks.
Nabal’s wife Abigail immediately feels how shameful Nabal reject David’s request. Nabal because its abundance does not want to share with others, he is one of his own servants called “a wicked man” (1 Sam.25: 17 ).
When the prophet Elijah come into the city Zarephath, he asks boldly food and drink to a widow he encounters.
Naturally, they want to give him that, were it not that it has much more to bread itself (1 Kon.17: 10-12 ).
In the New Testament, you will see the same.
When Jesus at Simon the Pharisee is a guest, he says that Simon was at fault.
Simon has offered him no clear water to wash his feet, gave him a kiss and not anointed with oil His head (Luke 7: 44-46).
The apostles call us to be hospitable people. So runs the third letter of John to open your home and your heart for itinerant servants of God.
Whoever closes his home and heart to his neighbor, as Diotrephes is doing, is not connected with God.
Christians are recognizable by their love – whose hospitality is an expression: “Put you on the hospitality” (Romans 12:13 ).
The guests you receive can be without you know angels: “Do not forget hospitality, for thereby some have unwittingly hosted angels” (Hebrew 13: 2 ).
How are you a Christian host or hostess?
If you should not grumble wholeheartedly: “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” 1 Peter 4: 9.
Christian is inseparable from its hospitable.
‘Every man for himself “is contrary to the gospel.
The Bible is full of texts about the stranger.
Important are these words: “Then before the Lord your God, answer and say: My father was a Syrian lost.
He went to Egypt and sojourned there with a few people, but he became a great, mighty, and numerous people “(Deut 26: 5).
The nation of Israel is like a stranger.
(Exodus.23: 9 ). The identity of God’s people is inextricably linked to the sojourning of the patriarchs.
Later, King David says it this way: “For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers” (1 Chron .29: 15).
Then it becomes clear that asylum seekers among the Israelites have both rights and obligations.
Well, known are the words of the Ten Commandments about ‘your stranger who is within your gates “(Exodus 20:10, Deuteronomy 5:14).
He has the right to rest and keep the rest.
Elsewhere in the IP, it is prohibited to bend the law of the foreigner (Ex.22: 21, Lev.19: 33, Deut 24: 17, Jeremia.7: 5-6, Malachi 3: 5 ).
Who treats strangers disrespectful, cursed (Deut 27:19 ).
That’s why it says in the scriptures tell us what to corn, olives, and grapes, after the harvest have been lying on the ground, is for the foreigner (Lev.19: 9-10, Deut 24: 19-21 ).
The story of Ruth shows how the Moabite food could collect on the land of Boaz in Bethlehem.
In light of these data, it is not surprising that God’s Word has an explicit commandment of love on foreigners, “Therefore you shall love the stranger, for you have been strangers in the land of Egypt” (Lev.19: 34, Deut.10: 19 ).
Israel must imitate God in love and compassion for asylum seekers.
“Who loves the alien by giving him food and clothing”. Deut 10:18 , and “The Lord preserves the strangers” (Psalm 146: 9 ).
In the New Testament is called the care of strangers as one of the good works that do believing widows 1 Tim.5: 9-10.
God points do in the IP six cities that serve as a ‘safe haven’ for foreign nationals who have slain accidentally someone (Num. 35:15 ).
If the alien has at all times a shelter where he or she is safe if there is an accident with a fatal outcome.
Asylum seekers are in no way ‘outlawed’.
In a spiritual sense, the way all of God’s children aliens.
(Ps 119: 19 , 1 Petr.2 11 , Hebr.11: 13 ).
Peter tells us: “And if you call on the Father (…) then walk in the fear of the Lord during the time of your sojourning” (1 Peter 1:17 ).
This earth is not the ‘home’ of Jesus’ disciples. They are namely the way to the Father’s house, and the new Jerusalem.
Their life is a pilgrimage to God’s future. Can a Christian really feel at home on earth?
In the parable of the sheep and the goats is clear who are the faithful followers of Christ.
They have called, among other foreigners welcome. It is important that we meet in the stranger Jesus.
He says, namely: “Verily I say unto you, providing you one of these least of my brethren have done, you have done for me” (Matthew 25:40 ).
Leads us to the church – especially if there is a reception center is nearby!
Jacob, Moses, David, and Elijah, many figures from the Bible have to flee at some point.
Refugees have a hard life.
They ‘hearth and home’ left behind and face an uncertain future.
But on all their escape routes God is His children nearby so they can say, ‘You have counted my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle.
Are they not in your book? ” (Psalm 56: 9).
Through the centuries, Christians have often been on the flight.
The persecution of Christians that began after the murder of Stephen (Acts 8: 1 ), continues to this day.
The witnesses to faith already experienced how heavy it was, “The world was not worthy of them.
They wandered around in remote places and stayed on mountains, in caves and in holes in the earth ” (Heb. 11:38 ).
Whoever flees, homeless, takes little clothes, and must search for food and drink. God will have mercy on these refugees.
The question is what the church choose: love or fear? They are opposites!
1. In the Old Testament, the stranger not only a threat.
The stranger, along with the orphan and the widow to a vulnerable group par excellence.
God, Himself loves the stranger (Deut. 18:10 )!
2. The alien reminds the people of God to their own past.
Israel also has been a stranger in a strange land. This alone is reason enough to face the benevolent stranger (Ex. 22:21 ).
3. Jesus is not ashamed of an applicant, Ruth the Moabite, to be born.
(Matt. 1 ).
Later whole Jesus identifies Himself with the stranger when he says: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:. 35-44 ).
4. Both the Old and New Testament hospitality is an important duty.
(Romans 12: 13; Heb. 13: 2; John 1: 5. ). The Greek word for hospitality even in the New Testament literally means “love the stranger”.
5. A Christian is a stranger on earth.
( Heb. 11: 9,13 ). Undoubtedly, this means that he knows more than anyone else connected with refugees.
6. In both the Old and New Testament contains many promises to the people.
Paul is certain: the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, “and they will hear” Acts. 28:28.
So we may look at the stranger: as people for whom God has a promise.
7. Christ is the gap between the different nations completely.
The Bible contains a promise of full integration and eternal for all those who love the Lord Jesus.
8. Son of God Himself was a refugee.
As a child, Jesus had to flee for his life.
After the wise men had gone, an angel of the Lord to Joseph in a dream saying, “Arise and take the young child and his mother with you, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I will say, for Herod will seek the Child to it to bring.
He then got up, took the child and his mother during the night with him and departed into Egypt “(Mat.2: 13-14 ).
The alien God is not strange because his own son was a fugitive.
So he became a partaker of our “refugee problem”.
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