Befriend the stranger.
Deuteronomy 8: 19
So often the immigration debate is conducted in terms of issues of economics or security: what will these immigrants do to my standard of living? how will they affect my security?
On the other hand, advocates of immigrants often rely on an appeal to human rights, to the immigrants themselves. How can we deny these people a chance to live and seek a decent life?
But today’s reading from Deuteronomy 10: 12-22 moves the debate to an entirely different level: who is God for us?
After recalling how God had chosen his people in love, Moses tells the people not to be stiff-necked.
The Lord, your God … shows no favor and takes no bribes; … executes justice
for the orphan and the widow, and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him.
This is the way God acts – befriending the aliens.
In one sense we are all aliens. We did not come into this world on our own. We do not live in this world solely by our powers.
We are, as another passage of scripture (1 Peter 2: 11) puts it, all aliens and strangers, sojourners on this earth.
But God befriends us and chooses us.
And so we are called to do the same:
So you too must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.