"I was a stranger, and you welcomed me."

Sunday, 7/17/16

Today’s readings urge us to be hospitable people. Abraham, on a hot summer’s day was airing himself at the opening of his tent when he saw three strangers passing, and he went out to greet them. The most gracious thing about his welcoming was that he made every kindness he offered look like a favor to him. He thanked them for visiting him and for taking water to wash and cool their feet.

Then, Martha, who had those thirteen big- eaters drop in on her, was happing to have them; she just didn’t care for her sister acting like a princess.

With all of Europe and ourselves being forced to put up with migrants, we might take a lesson from God telling the Israelites, “Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” A hundred and eighty years ago when my ancestors arrived on our East Coast, they everywhere saw signs saying “Irish Need Not Apply.”

With all the vast migrant movements this year, we might recall how all seemingly stable nations were once migrants. The Jews, Syrians, and Iraqis were once homeless Arabians who came up to Sumeria to do yard work. The Irish, French and Germans were part of the Barbarian invasion  [TS1] of Europe between 300 and 500 A.D.

When Paul sent Titus to Crete to find priest-material, he insisted that any candidate “must be hospitable to strangers.”   

If Jesus lets you in at the Last  Judgment he will say, “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.”

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