A Love for the Strangers: What the Bible Says About Loving Immigrants
by Rachael Kathleen Hartman (Author)
4 out of 5 stars
The Bible talks about “strangers” and “aliens” hundreds of times, calling Christians “strangers” in the world because our true home is in Heaven. The Israelites were commanded to welcome “strangers” into their community. God tells us more than once to love our neighbor (no matter where they come from) and to be compassionate toward those in need.
This book begins with some personal history of the author, and how they first began to have a special place in their heart for immigrants and people from other nations. They give some personal stories of their international friends, and how knowing such diverse people enhanced their understanding of the world.
Then there is an overview of how the Bible talks about immigrants and “strangers” who travel and migrate to a new place. The Old Testament urges the Israelites to treat immigrants just the same as their own people under the law, and to be generous with the poor, but not to allow foreign religions to influence their devotion to God.
The New Testament has many passages about being kind to foreigners, but the most notable in this book is Jesus’ commandment to give to the poor and aid those in trouble as if we were giving that aid to Jesus Himself. The passage in Matthew 25:21-46 specifically refers to being a stranger without a home, and being given shelter and a place to stay.
I enjoyed the personal writing style in this book, as if the author is just having a conversation with you about a subject that is important to them. The compassion of the author shines from every page. The information about refugees and immigrants is reliable and compelling. I was pleased to see that this book is peppered with Scripture and is deeply rooted in the Bible.
I loved that this book has questions at the end of each chapter that you could use in a group discussion or answer on your own. This is so crucial for prompting readers to get involved in helping immigrants in their community. The book encourages the reader to be alert for any opportunity to reach out to someone in need. Just being willing to listen to someone’s story, validate their experience, and welcome them into a new community is invaluable for a displaced person in a new and unfamiliar environment.
Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for a free and honest review.