Loving all
(The Philippine Star) - February 16, 2020 - 12:00am

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself. — Leviticus 19:34

I worship in a church located in a large, open field — a rare commodity on the island of Singapore (we’re just 25 miles long and 15 miles wide). Some time back, people from abroad who work in my country started gathering on the church property for a picnic every Sunday.

This evoked a range of responses from fellow churchgoers. Some fretted about the mess the visitors would leave behind. But others saw this as a divine opportunity to extend hospitality to a wonderful group of strangers — without even leaving the church grounds!

The Israelites must have faced similar issues in their time. After they settled in their new land, they had to grapple with how to relate to other peoples. But God expressly commanded them to treat foreigners like their own kind, and to love them as themselves (Leviticus 19:34). Many of His laws made special mention of foreigners: they were not to be mistreated or oppressed, and they were to be loved and helped (Exodus 23:9Deuteronomy 10:19). Centuries later, Jesus would command us to do the same: to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31).

May we have God’s heart to love others as ourselves, remembering that we too are sojourners on this earth. Yet we have been loved as God’s people, treated as His own. — Leslie Koh

Father, You have made each and every one of us in Your likeness. May we love those from elsewhere and seek to reach out to them with Your love.

READ: Leviticus 19:33-34

Embracing God’s love for us is the key to loving others.

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 19-20 and Matthew 27:51-66

GOD
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