Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Welcoming the Alien

Related image

Offering hospitality to a stranger is a sacred act because it is a reflection of God who is all gracious, merciful and generous.  The holiness of hospitality was codified in religious statutes within the Mosaic Laws and revealed in the parables of Jesus Christ that teach how humanity ought to treat strangers and sojourners. 

This is not simply a matter of the rich justly providing for those who are less fortunate.  Nor is it a call to set up a business that provides hospitality for profit.  Guests should feel welcome and enjoy a special place even in the poorest of households.  Those with an abundance of resources, as well as those with very little, are all equally expected to share from what they have in order make strangers feel welcome. 

In the book of Leviticus God spells out the obligation to offer hospitality clearly. In Leviticus 19:10, God says, “You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God.” 

And in Leviticus 19: 33-34, God says, “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.  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.”