Theme for the Week
Stranger. Unfamiliar. Alien. Outsider. All familiar words if you’ve ever walked into a room where you knew no one or felt like you just don’t belong. We often try to organize the world into neat and tidy categories: good vs. evil. Near vs. far. Us vs. them. While these categories may order our thinking, they do so at a cost, separating us from those different than us — from those to whom we are called. They help us steer clear of the foreigner.
But in Ephesians, Paul reminds the church that they, too, were once foreigners, separated from Christ and outside of the grace He provides. The refugees in our midst are foreigners not just to their new host country, but most are also unfamiliar with Jesus and the hope of His kingdom. But the foreigner is not foreign to God. God’s people have often been strangers and wanderers. Jesus Himself became a stranger, a sojourner in our midst, so He might reach us. And, as citizens of heaven, all believers share a certain degree of foreign status in our world.
Just as Jesus took on our foreignness to draw us into the family of God. May we likewise draw near to the foreigner in our midst, praying as we do that God will meet our refugee friends and neighbors in their wandering.
Prayer for the Week
God of all humanity, including the stateless, thank You for drawing near to us in Jesus. Thank You for not remaining far off, but meeting us in our brokenness and hopelessness, redeeming us and adopting us in Your Son. We pray for our refugee friends and neighbors. They are presently wandering without a physical home. Many also lack the comfort of Your Son. As they travel to new cultures and face unfamiliar circumstances, would You create opportunities for Your church to welcome them with the love of Christ, and to respond with tangible acts of love and acceptance? Assure these wanderers that they are loved by You, seen by You and known by You. And may they come to be accepted by You through the blood of Christ, our Savior, amen.