Our communities of faith have long histories of welcoming immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. This work has been shaped by the words of God found in the Bible, where there are dozens and dozens of verses that encourage us to welcome others as neighbors.
“Do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted… but rather open your hand and lend what is needed to meet the need of others…” Pastor Bonnie Wilcox reminds us of God’s calls to open our hands to support, love and help others.
Deuteronomy 15:1-2, 7-11
Laws concerning the Sabbatical Year
15 Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts. 2 And this is the manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the community, because the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed.
7 If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. 8 You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. 9 Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, “The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,” and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. 10 Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”