Monday, December 10, 2012
Widows, Orphans, AND Aliens
My wife is writing a terrific series of Advent Meditations for Kids. This evening she read me the one she just put up on How To Treat The Poor. The readings from Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Leviticus reminded me of a thorn in my side. There are three classes of people consistently mentioned in conjunction as the lynchpins of God-like behavior: widows, orphans, and aliens. According to scripture how Israel treated these people determined whether the people of God were truly the people of God or not. Moreover, it is clear that God's blessing is contingent on how these classes of people are treated.
There is much talk in Christian circles as to how we in America are doing things that repudiate the blessing of God. I will not enumerate them as they are such hot button issues as will completely sidetrack what I am attempting to say. However, if we are truly serious and biblical about placing this nation in the blessing of God then these three classes should be foremost in our actions. We talk about caring for widows and orphans. Yet very few churches actively engage in substantive care for single mothers nor does hardly anyone adopt children from the foster care system. But further still, the aliens are consistently left out of the "widows and orphans" formula. The aliens include those guys down in the Home Depot parking lot, all those people who are here illegally and are the subject of great political dispute.
Biblically, the blessing of God hinges on how we treat the foreigners who have come here legally or otherwise and not on whether we are allowed to pray in schools or whether the Ten Commandments are written on some wall or even on whether gay people are allowed to get married.
Many will say, and have said to me, "I am ok with legal immigrants, but the illegals must go and should be excluded from society, etc." It comes down to legality. There are legal ways to enter this country. Anyone who doesn't come by these means is a pariah. Now, the same people make heroes of the kids who stand up and pray, illegally, in assembly, stating that they are obeying a higher law. Where is that higher law when it comes to the alien?
I tend to be a conservative and toward limiting the rights of citizens to citizens. However, God doesn't seem to care about what I think about this and hinges his blessing on how we treat the one who is not a citizen.
I am fully in favor of inviting the blessing of God. I wonder what he is in favor of?