Today's reading of the Writings was Ruth 1.1-18. A couple of things struck me about this. The first one was on the lighter side:
"But Ruth said, 'Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you." Ruth 1.16-17 ESV
The 3.5 faithful readers know one of my main pet peeves is around the the misapplication of Bible verses. I just love the irony here. This passage, used often in wedding ceremonies, was really written about someone's relationship with their mother-in-law. Jaw-dropper.
But the heavier topic that jumped off the page to me was that this story has undocumented immigration written all throughout it. Naomi and Elimelech and their 2 sons immigrated illegally into Moab, a traditional enemy of Israel. They did it for the economic reality that they couldn't provide adequately for their family in their own country.
Now I know that the geo-political nation-state of today didn't arise until well into second half of the last millenium (is there a name for that? the "teen-illenium?") so the rules don't translate directly, but this story and others give us a picture of God's view on the treatment of immigrants. We are to care for the alien and stranger among us. We ourselves are "sojourners" in a nation-state to which we are, at best, secondarily citizens of.
How does our treatment of the sojourner among us reflect on the One we claim to follow?