Morning Musing: Deuteronomy 24:17-18

“Do not deny justice to a resident alien or fatherless child, and do not take a widow’s garment as security. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. Therefore I am commanding you to do this.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Experience is a teacher. Exactly what kind of teacher it is depends. Depends on what? Well, to a very great extent, it depends on us. It depends on how we respond to it and the lessons we learn from it. The people of Israel had been through a school of experience in Egypt and God wanted to be sure they learned some particular lessons from it in terms of how they treated others. We may not be Israel, but I think there is something here for us too if we’ll pay attention. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Exodus 22:21

“You must not exploit a resident alien or oppress him, since you were resident aliens in the land of Egypt.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Being the new kid is tough. From the moment you walk into the room, it feels like everybody is looking at you suspiciously. Who are you? What are you like? Are you going to upset the fragile social structure they have managed to achieve in their time together without you? Okay, that last question may not be asked intentionally or out loud, but it’s there all the same. This kind of thing happens on a small scale in something like a classroom. It also happens on the much larger scale of nations. There are people living in our country who were not born here. The question we have to wrestle with as a nation because of this is: What is to be done with all of these people? That’s a political question with no easy answers. There’s another question, though, that often gets ignored in public debates (except perhaps to score political points), but is nonetheless just as important: How should they be treated? For followers of Jesus, this one is much easier to answer. Let’s talk about it for a few minutes this morning.

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You’re Not Like Me

Last week in our new series, Answers to Tough Questions, we tackled the maze of LGBT issues. The outcome was a simple principle which, while not necessarily answering every question people ask about it, did give us a clear path forward. This week, we tackled the immigration debate. Like last week, you won’t find clear and concise answers or policy prescriptions here. Rather, we clarify yet another foundational principle that should guide all of our thinking about it as followers of Jesus. Read on to find out what this is.

One more thing: I will be in class all this week learning about law enforcement chaplaincy. While I am most excited about this opportunity, it means this will be the only blog post for this week. Stay tuned. I’ll be back in a week with your regularly scheduled program. Thanks for your faithful readership.

You’re Not Like Me

Moving into a new place for the first time is always just a bit scary…especially when it’s in a new town. When Lisa and I moved from Denver, Colorado to Church Road, VA in 2008, we were living somewhere neither of us had any connections at all. We had a house—the parsonage—but we didn’t know anyone. We had a wonderful church family, but that was the extent of our local support network. Specifically, we didn’t know if we could trust our neighbors. Fortunately, one man in the church we had come to trust gave us the assurance that we could and so began a relationship with Bobby and Frances Wilson. They were wonderful. They took us—and our boys as they arrived into the world—on as simply an extension of their own family. We adopted them as a set of grand and great-grandparents who were living next door instead of several states away. They were the best neighbors—and friends—we could have possibly hoped to have.

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Digging in Deeper: Judges 19:22

“As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door.  And they said to the old man, the master of the house, ‘Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

For Israelites who were later being told this story as part of their people’s dark past, these words would have been chilling even before the narrative of what comes next.  This whole situation would have left them shuddering in terror.  This would have been a story you didn’t tell your children, but waited until they were a bit older and could handle it.  Even now, this isn’t somewhere I’d point my boys to read just yet. Read the rest…