If the Bible is clear about anything, it is crystal clear about our call to welcome the exile, the refugee, the stranger.
From the days when the Hebrew people were wandering in the desert without a homeland the Biblical laws were clear about welcoming those from other nations.
You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. – Deuteronomy 10: 19
The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:34
Once Israel was an established nation in Jerusalem these laws remained.
You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the sojourner resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance, declares the Lord God. – Ezekiel 47:22-23
Such a call draws us from the fear that our sins feed to a radical hospitality that is the very essence of the good news of Jesus.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was homeless and you gave me a room. Matthew 25:35
Unfortunately, today our fear of the “other” is an easy political lever for our leaders to pull.
Asking us to fear is easy (see entire 2016 election).
Calling us to the welcome of the gospel is the work of God’s grace.
So, we ought not buy into such fear and the lies that accompany it. Some want us so afraid of our neighbors that we will violate our deepest convictions.
Some would say that this decision isn’t about fear and racism but jobs and the economy.
What the economics of DACA do demonstrate is that this action has little to do with considered policy.
It is pure fear mongering, an appeal to raw racism. Nothing else.
But even if the economics of DACA were reversed, the gospel call would be no different. We are a people who embrace the stranger because we too were strangers once.
We ought not let anyone distort who our neighbors are nor misshape the people God has made us to be: a people of fearless welcome and unending hope.
Edited by Nathan Roberts