Holy Hospitality: Seeing Christ in the Immigrant

This is about hospitality to our neighbor, but also to God. Mother Teresa once stated that her mission was to do "something beautiful for God." This is the heart of Christian ethics, I believe: we love the Creator by loving the creatures. While the answers sometimes are complicated at the public policy level, Christians need to ask only this: "Are my actions and the actions of my government giving God a more beautiful or an uglier world?"

These days, of course, anyone who advocates personal or governmental support of the vulnerable is labeled a socialist; but if that be so, we have to assume that is what followers of path of Jesus, even fiscal conservatives like myself, are called to be in light of the prophetic vision, "Let justice flow down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream," or Jesus' words, "As you've done to the least of these . . ." or the first Christians' willingness to share everything in light of God's spiritual presence (Acts, chapters 2 and 4). One more thing, remember, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, were political refugees who received hospitality in Egypt after fleeing Herod's persecution. What would have happened to our Savior had his family been refused comfort and hospitality in a strange land?

Such hospitality is a tall order for me and for most of my Christian friends; but this vision calls me to open the doors, open my heart, and welcome the stranger, who indeed is Christ in disguise. It calls me to do something beautiful for God, to ease the pain of the world and God's pain, and to bring joy to the hearts of strangers and laughter to their children and joy and laughter to the heart of God.

For more on the immigration issue, see the latest installment in the Evangelical Portal's
Cross Examinations series.

6/7/2010 4:00:00 AM