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Daily Devotionals

Day 73 – Issue 37

todayMay 1, 2015 8

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Be Still Know

READ: Isaiah 56.6 NLT

“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who hold fast to my covenant.”

In the Old Testament, God’s people were often told to be welcoming to foreigners. God’s love was not confined to the Jews and they were reminded that, as a nation, they used to be foreigners in Egypt so it was only right that they should be generous and loving towards foreigners. The people of Israel had spent four hundred years in Egypt so there was nothing that they didn’t know about the vulnerabilities and insecurities of being foreigners. The celebration of the Passover was a continual reminder of their roots in Egypt.

We live in a wonderfully diverse country which, over the centuries, has welcomed people from many nations. This continues to be the case and every year we welcome many thousands of people. Some of them come to us as refugees and asylum seekers because of the dangers in their own homeland. It is vital that we welcome all foreigners and that the church is a place where they can find security, compassion, understanding and love. I have been to many churches that have the flags of all the nations represented in the congregation. This is a wonderful way of affirming that we honour the different backgrounds and identities of all our brothers and sisters.

The welcome to people of all nations is clear in Isaiah but in the coming of Jesus the doors are flung open to everyone with even greater clarity. I’m very interested by the statues of Jesus that you will find around the world. He could have been depicted in many different ways but many of them show him with arms outstretched in love and welcome. I’m thinking of the statues of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Christ the King in Lisbon, Portugal. They tower over those great cities and give people the continual reminder of the New Testament’s message that Christ opens his arms right now to all those who will come to him, whatever their background or nation.

QUESTIONS: In what ways does your church seek to welcome people who come from different nations?

PRAYER: Lord, I worship you because you are the God of all the nations. Help me continually to pass your welcome on to others. Amen

Written by: Matt Weet

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