I posted this a few years ago, thought it might be worth some updating: Then I sought the Lord in prayer and asked, “Lord, I want our country to be Christian again, but this can’t happen if we just let anyone in. How much longer should I show hospitality to the stranger?
And Jesus answered, “I tell you hospitality, openness, and welcome, especially to those who are different, is the very essence of what it means to be Christian.”
You see, citizenship in the kingdom of heaven is like a chief who wanted to make sure the people living in his territory belonged. As the chief was going over the pedigree of his servant, it was soon discovered that five generations back the servant’s family came from across the ocean seeking a new start in a land free of religious persecution. Surprised and enraged the chief summoned the servant into his presence. Since the servant could not prove the purity of his citizenship, the chief ordered him deported along with his wife, children, and extended family.
The servant fell on his knees before the chief. “Please don’t send me back, I will prove my worthiness to stay here – just give me a chance.”
The chief took pity on his servant, and gave him and his family amnesty.
But when this servant went out, he found a fellow immigrant, who had come from the territory to the south two years ago, hoping to find a way to provide for himself and his family. He grabbed him and began to choke him. “You have no right to be here; your presence is taking away jobs, draining our resources, and trampling on our Christian values.”
His servant fell on his knees. “Please don’t send me back, I will prove my worthiness to stay here – just give me a chance.”
But the servant refused. Instead he went off to the local immigration office to report the man and his family who were then deported.
When the chief’s other servants heard what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went to the chief and told him everything that had happened.
Then the chief called the servant in. “You wicked foolish man,” he said, “I gave you amnesty, I gave you a chance, I welcomed you with arms wide open. Shouldn’t you have shown mercy on your fellow immigrant just as I had on you?” In his anger, the chief had this man, and his wife, children, and extended family sent back to the land of their ancestors.
How should we treat today’s refugees and immigrants? Maybe with arms wide open?