2012 Advent Devotion- Tuesday, December 11

by Laura Stricklen, Presbyterian Hunger Program, AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer (Louisville, Kentucky)

Psalm 146

A few years ago, for the first time in my fairly privileged life, I found myself in a foreign country with the wrong visa. During my first month abroad I visited the immigration office several times, waited in long lines, met with tired workers, and sat in a sea of unknown people. An immigration officer who coldly shouted instructions and herded us into different sections of the room, taught me what it meant to be an unwelcome stranger in a foreign land.

We remember as we wait expectantly for the light to come into the world that Jesus entered this world as a stranger. As a Jew in the Roman Empire, the child of unmarried parents, a persecuted baby born among the livestock, Christ was not only present with the uninvited—our Wonderful Counselor was an excluded guest himself.

As people who trust in a God who watches over outsiders, we are called to welcome the uninvited. We do this knowing that the stranger among us may very well be an embodiment of the Christ whose love extends to all parts of the earth

God of outrageous generosity, open our eyes to see the sacred in those we have set apart from us as strangers. Help us to remember that not only are you a God who executes justice for the oppressed, but that you invite us to create with you your kin-dom on earth, extending your love to all we encounter. Amen.

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