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Welcome the stranger as if they’re royalty

In a world where people are often judged by outward appearances, we should follow God's example

In the midst of this grand reception of Prince William, the Jordan government announced that it would not take in any more refugees. While it must be remembered that the Jordanian government’s limits on refugees are an understandable responsibility of the state, as there are already more than 630,000 refugees sojourning in Jordan, and Prince William himself remarked that the way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable”, it is the juxtaposition of a prince being welcomed into a palace and the vulnerable, needy and victims of war being turned away, that causes me to question how the church welcomes others. 

Do we welcome everyone, regardless of status? At church do we only talk to our friends, or do we speak to the newcomer? Do we sit with the needy, those who are on the fringes of society and those who are hurting? When we walk down the road, or in our spare time, do we help the vulnerable? Do we take time to ask them their name or how they are? Or do we simply seek to serve those we think are important and wealthy? In our workplaces, do we notice the colleague who is not as socially adept or gregarious as others? Do we make an effort to welcome them, love them and care for them? 

In Romans we are encouraged to welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7). Jesus has given us the greatest welcome of all. He saw us as broken and sinful and yet He loved us with an outrageous love. We turned away from God and yet He sent His son to die for us so we could be welcomed as His children. Therefore, we too as Christians are called to sacrificially welcome others. Not just those we like or people who are easy to welcome – but everyone. 

Prince William on his arrival to Jordan was greeted at the airport by the Crown Prince, who then welcomed him into his home to watch the football together. It was William’s status as prince, Duke of Cambridge and heir to the throne that has given him this welcome. It may seem obvious that a prince should and would receive this grand welcome, yet, we often forget that everyone in this world has been created in the image of God and is loved by Him equally, for God does not show favouritism” (Acts 10:34 – 35). It is easy to forget this truth and we might find ourselves projecting earthly statuses onto people, judging them by their position, wealth or even what they wear, instead of seeing all people as God sees them. Therefore, let’s welcome and treat others around us with this same love, value and importance. We are called to welcome the stranger. How will you welcome the stranger today? 

About the author

Sarah is a very excitable chocoholic and avid tea-drinker - she talks super-fast and is always full of energy. Sarah has been with the Evangelical Alliance ever since she graduated in 2016 from the University of Nottingham with a degree in English. Having started as an intern, she is now our membership marketing coordinator, looking after all the Alliance's personal members, recruiting new members, running the exhibition stands and the Instagram account - @evangelicalalliance.

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