Several governors and other politicians in the United States, many of whom tout their “Christian values” and this as a “Christian nation,” have said that we should take no Syrian refugees because one such refugee was amongst the many terrorists who recently attacked Paris. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing Syria. They are not terrorists themselves. They seek a land free from the terror they have experienced. We could, of course, let fear rule the day and close our borders, or we could reach out a hand to those in need. For these particular politicians, I think the direction should be clear. But don’t take my word for it.
“The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” – Leviticus 19:34
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.” – Isaiah 58:6-8
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:36-37
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2 NRSV
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” – Matthew 25:37-40
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
– from “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty
Honestly, Christians who wish to “turn American back to God” should take care not to turn away his angels at our borders.
(Cover image: Vincent Van Gogh, The Good Samaritan)