The Stranger: Litmus Test of Society

“From Abraham to Ruth, from the Exodus stories to countless laws of interpersonal aid…to the social criticism of the prophets, there is no person of greater concern in the Bible than the stranger…whose treatment by us is ultimately a litmus test of whether we and our culture have succeeded or not in the eyes of God, and whose experience is essentially a yardstick of our moral stature.

If we love the stranger, protect him and see to his needs, then our society passes a kind of Divine test, and we also have the emotional and spiritual fulfillment of identifying with an echo of ourselves.”

Rabbi Marc Gopin

The Church at a Crossroad

Epiphany: January 6, 2017.

Today we begin the liturgical season of Epiphany which means, “to make manifest” and its the season in the church calendar where we are reminded of Jesus’s identity and his mission to the world. Starting with the three pagan astrologers who follow a star to this child, it is revealed that this baby is the King above all kings and that his kingdom is not just for the chosen Israelite tribe, but for all people.

This Epiphany I sit in a coffee shop reflecting on the changes that have happened over the past two years since I published this website. When I first launched this project in early 2015, radical hospitality was like a new lens to see local missions- how churches could have eyes to see the mission field in their own backyards and the gift that these relationship would bring.  This is all still true in early 2017, but there is another vital and prophetic dimension to hospitality now. Continue reading