Daily Meditation: "When You Are The Stranger"
Thursday, September 17, 2020
"You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." - Deuteronomy 10:19
Every September 11th, I remember many things; one of which is Ted Hennessy. Ted was on the first plane that went into the Towers, and he was a senior when I was a freshman in high school. My first day in high school, when I was trying to find where to sit in the cafeteria for lunch and felt lost and overwhelmed, Ted and a few other seniors that were in music and drama called me over and invited me to sit with them. I can’t tell you how much better I felt. Ted helped a scared kid feel safe by being kind to a stranger, and I’ll never forget it.
Do you remember what it was like to go to a new school, whether by moving to a new place or just moving up to a new grade level? Those first few days are scary, and those people that welcome us in and safely guide us through those days make all the difference. The same is true when we start new jobs, join new churches, move to new neighborhoods; wherever we may be “the stranger,” those who make us feel welcome live out the truth of Deuteronomy.
Jesus reiterates this call for loving the stranger in his parable of The Sheep And The Goats when he says that welcoming the stranger is one of the things (along with feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick, giving the thirsty a drink, etc) that is seen as righteous in the eyes of God. Jesus knew his Deuteronomy. The passage also reminds us that this kind of love springs from the empathy of the times when we ourselves were “the stranger” and someone loved us. Just like them, we shall also do the same.
We all need a Ted Hennessy. We all need to be a Ted Hennessy. God bless you, Ted. You shall always be lovingly remembered.
God of Love, may we extend love and welcome to those deemed as strangers in our midst as we have freely received such love along our way.