This year will mark our 238th year our nation has declared its independence. The fight that our forefathers made in order for us to enjoy a better life cannot be forgotten. We must also not forget how they came here and established a home in the New World. Escaping religious persecution, the first settlers migrated to the New World, risking their lives and leaving what they once knew in efforts of having a better life. Through the hardships, the settlers never gave up and after years of hard work, they were able to establish the United States of America. The immigrants then and now face some of the same hardships; not knowing the land, the barrier language, and lack of resources. It is no secret that we still have settlers coming into the country. Today we think of and see the immigrant through a different lens, when in reality they are here for the same reasons our forefathers came.
Throughout the scriptures we can see the subject of immigration come up frequently. We read of Abraham going to the land that God would show him. We read of the most notorious migration movement in which God delivered his people from Egypt, where they were oppressed and treated terribly. We read of the law that codifies respect and fair treatment of immigrants. Even Jesus as an infant had to flee as a refugee to Egypt for political reasons. In the Bible it says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). Showing hospitality can be done through many ways. Eating together or simply listening can go a long ways. We are blessed to be in country that allowed entrance and showed hospitality to our ancestors. Let us do the same for the new settlers.
As we finish the week celebrating our nation’s independence let us think of our own immigration story. Let us take time to show hospitality and love to the stranger, just as God has commanded us to do.