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Loving the Stranger and Traveller

Exodus 23:9

Also you shall not oppress a stranger: for you know the heart of a stranger, seeing as you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, I want to share a message that is of great importance to our faith and our duty as Christians in this unstable world. It is a message of love, acceptance, and witnessing to those who are in need, particularly the migrants and refugees who have sought a new home, a new beginning, and a new life.


I want to begin by reminding us all the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew, where He said, "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in" (Matthew 25:35). This verse is a powerful reminder of our responsibility to care for and extend a helping hand to those who are in need, regardless of their background, nationality, or the circumstances that have led them to our doorstep.


As we see the news and hear the stories of countless migrants and refugees fleeing their homes due to war, persecution, poverty, and other hardships, it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel helpless. But it is in these moments that we remember that our faith calls us to be a beacon of hope, love, and acceptance to all people, especially those who need it the most.


Throughout the Bible, we see many examples of individuals who were once strangers in a foreign land, but through the grace of God and the compassion of others, were welcomed and embraced as part of a new community. From Abraham, who left his homeland to follow God's call, to the Israelites who sought refuge in Egypt during a time of famine, we see that migration and the seeking of refuge have been a part of human history from the very beginning.


As followers of Christ, we should remember Jesus Himself was once a refugee, as His family fled to Egypt to escape the murderous intentions of King Herod. As we reflect on this, let us remember that our Saviour, the Son of God, knows firsthand the fear, uncertainty, and suffering that many migrants and refugees experience today.


Brothers and sisters, let us not turn a blind eye to the plight of those who desperately need our help, acceptance, and love. Instead, let us follow the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus to reach out to them, share the Good News, and be a living witness of God's love and mercy.


In our church community, there are many ways in which we can do this. We can volunteer our time and resources to support organisations and charities that provide aid and help to migrants and refugees. We can also educate ourselves and others about the challenges they face, and advocate for policies that promote compassion, justice, and the dignity of all human beings.


We can open our hearts and our homes, offering friendship and support to those who have found themselves in our community, far from their loved ones and the lives they once knew. By doing so, we not only provide practical help, but we also give them a sense of belonging and the assurance that they are not alone in their struggles.


So, my dear brothers and sisters, let us be optimistic in our efforts to welcome and care for migrants and refugees, knowing that our actions reflect our faith and our love for God. Let us remember the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40).


As we go about our daily lives, let us be mindful of the opportunities we must show love and acceptance to those who differ from us, particularly migrants and refugees. In doing so, we not only fulfil our Christian duty, but we also allow ourselves to be transformed by the power of God's love working through us. May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, as we strive to be a church that is accepting, loving, and a witness to the migrants and refugees in our midst.