ODJ: strangers and foreigners

December 7, 2013 

READ: Hebrews 13:1-3 

So you, too, must show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19).

Last summer my son and I were heading to a connecting flight at Chicago’s International Airport. As we walked briskly from one terminal to another, Wasswa said, “Look, Mummy, a Dinka!”

Dinkas comprise the largest tribe in South Sudan. They’re considered the tallest people group in Africa and with their beautiful, deep skin colour are fairly easy to recognise if you’re somewhat familiar with sub-Saharan tribes. We stopped to say “hello” to the man and he was pleased, albeit surprised, that upon seeing him we identified his heritage.

Through broken English the gentleman explained that a few years earlier he and his family had entered America as war refugees. He said they were thankful to be here, but they still felt like strangers in a foreign land.

Hearing this man’s plight caused me to reflect on Matthew 25:37-39, which states that the “righteous ones” will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?”

As members of the body of Christ, we’re called to:

• Love each other as brothers and sisters (Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Hebrews 13:1).

• Show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realising it! (v.2).

• Remember those in prison, as if we were there ourselves (v.3).

• Remember also those who are being mistreated, as if we were experiencing their pain in our own bodies (v.3).

Today, let’s ask God to help us recognise the people, including strangers, to whom we can show true hospitality. —Roxanne Robbins

Read Job 31:32 and note the suffering man’s hospitable approach to caring for strangers. 
How has God shown His love to you—bringing you into His family after you knew you were outside of it? How can we practise wisdom and discernment as we reach out to strangers?