“The Spiritually Qualified Stranger and Documented (Im-) Migrants among us”
“And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of these my brothers, you did it to me’ (Matt. 25:38-40).
The ethic of Jesus stands in sharp contrast to American Christian morality. His morality challenges the very fabric of American cultural christianity and religious practices. Jesus’ love ethic questions the American church’s understanding of the nature of biblical love and God’s clarion call to embrace people who are politically not qualified, those who do not belong, and individuals without an American passport.
The stranger in this verse is the politically unqualified and the undocumented, but before God is nevertheless spiritually qualified and documented to be loved and cared for. The stranger is the one who escaped poverty and violence from his or her country to find food and peace where you live.
The stranger is the one who is naked and sick, but he or she comes to your community to be clothed and find healing and restoration.
The stranger includes the little brown children in American detention camps and the migrants and refugees at the American-Mexican borders.
The stranger will never be someone like you and the individual you admire naturally and are ready to love effortlessly.
The stranger might carry scars of suffering and pain and marks of marginalization and exclusion on her body and soul. Yet Jesus’ethic urges the American Christian to love the stranger, to show compassion and empathy, and to take him or her to your home.