During the last several years, there have been reports of hundreds of thousands of people being displaced by wars and uprisings, or leaving their homeland for economic reasons. We hear and read about them on a daily basis. Many are living in holding camps under conditions that we can't even begin to imagine.
Laws are being created in different countries to try to stop them from entering, and physical walls have been, and are being built on the borders between various countries.
In some European countries, the influx of desperate refugees is a real crisis. Friends who live there tell me that immigrants are not welcome because the culture, religion, and way of life that they bring with them is so different from that in their adopted country. Their reluctance, or, in many cases, unwillingness to adapt to local culture is also a hindrance. However, the mission field has now come to our doorstep, and it is our biblical mandate to bring the gospel of Jesus to all people.
At the beginning of this year, my wife and I each started to read the Bible in one year. She does it at a convenient time during the day, and I do it when I walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes, five days a week. To be honest, I found the laws, requirements, descriptions, and details of the objects to be used for ceremonial purposes as described in Leviticus, very monotonous, hard to read, and impossible to relate to. But one passage caught my eye:
Leviticus 19:33-34 – And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (NKJV)
The love of neighbours, whether long-time residents or newly arrived, has always been a matter of great controversy and discussion, even in New Testament times:
Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all you mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'" (NKJV)
When there is an influx of people from other countries, it is good to be reminded that we are to welcome all people, be kind to them, and introduce Jesus to them.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray that when we as individuals or as a country see the people who are looking for refuge, we will make them feel welcome. We pray that as believers in Christ as Saviour and Lord, we will have opportunities to express our love to them and to tell them about Jesus. We ask it in His name. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Simply Trusting" (Lyrics)