We Must Welcome Strangers and Refugees
Rev. Mary Kay Totty's statement about refugees during the church service:
Leviticus 19: 33-34 states “Do not mistreat foreigners who reside in your land. The foreigner who lives among you must be treated like one of your own. Love them as you love yourself, for you too were a foreigner in the land of Egypt.”
In the gospels, we find Jesus reaching out to the Samaritan woman, healing a Centurian’s child, and being persuaded to change his mind by a Syro-phoenecian woman.
These examples and others woven throughout our scripture and our tradition demand of us that we extend a welcome to the stranger and the refugee in our midst. Human decency demands of us that we help refugees fleeing the terror of their homeland. And this week, there have been presidential executive orders calling for a ban on Muslims entering the country — even those with green cards and visas. As followers of Jesus, we need to speak out against this discrimination and religious bigotry. We need to stand with our Muslim sisters and brothers. We must resist the fear and hatred that is being stirred up because of the rash actions of the president. If you have Muslim friends reach out to them this week — call them, have them over for coffee, see if they would like company for running errands or commuting. If you live somewhere besides DC, write your congress people requesting that they find ways and means to override the presidential ban on Muslims. And pray. Pray, send your prayers, your love out into this world.
Let us pray,
God of Abraham and Sarah, God of Hagar and Ishmael, God of Mary and Joseph, we pray this day for justice and for peace. Give us wisdom, O God, to find ways to curtail the harm that is being done by those in highest leadership in our country. Help us to be people of justice and compassion. Give us courage to speak. Give us hearts big enough to love all people, even those with whom we disagree. Be with the refugees of our world. Let them find safe havens from terror. Open up resources and welcomes for those fleeing that they may find new homes. Grant us strength and stamina to keep resisting evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. Amen and Amen.