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33 When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

If I am keeping anything from my Christian upbringing, it is this.  


The place I remember most as home, as the place that smells and tastes like home, with the first language I learned to read and my first friends, was where my parents worked in a refugee camp.

I have a lot of informally adopted extended family who came to the US as refugees, often as unaccompanied minors.


I spent a lot of time and effort on a UCC confirmation retreat looking for this verse.*  It meant everything to me.  It still does.


It has relevance in a Heathen context, too.  Hospitality is a holy obligation.  

And it echoes through my heritage, too... From barbarian ancestors begging Rome for bread... To the many branches of my family that landed on these shores fleeing repression, conscription and reprisal in the mid-19th century...**  


Actually, the version I learned said "stranger," instead of "foreigner."  We all were strangers. If we are not, just now, we will be again.  And judgement here or in any hereafter is meaningful as it relates to our treatment of the Least and Last.

True for all and triply true to those who have much.








*I have a vaguely-related rant about that exercise...

**I know two branches of my family came here in 1848ish, one from Berlin and one from Bavaria, so I started looking up what was going on that would have involved people being conscripted into some kind of counterrevolution and it is a vast and fascinating subject.  










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