DAWNINGS: God’s Word about the Treatment of ImmigrantsThe Rev. Dawn Weaks is the co-pastor of Connection Church in Odessa.

News outlets continue to report the inhumane conditions children are living in while in our government’s custody at the border. The situation is very complicated, and has been years in the making. But for people of the Judeo-Christian faith, one thing is clear: our faith does not allow mistreatment of immigrants, especially children. The Scriptures are filled with instruction and warnings about how we are to treat people from other countries. Here are just a few examples:
“The LORD your God enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves foreigners, giving them food and clothing. That means you must also love foreigners because you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)
“When a foreigner resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who resides with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)
“You have brought your judgment days near and have come to your years of punishment [because] the foreigner is exploited within you.” (Ezekiel 22:4,7)
If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers forever and ever.” (Jeremiah 7:5-7)
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)
Perhaps most compelling for followers of Jesus is that he himself experienced forced migration, becoming a refugee as a child. Matthew chapter 2 details the holy family’s harrowing journey across the border to Egypt: “Having been warned in a dream, Joseph got up during the night and took the child and his mother to Egypt.”
The immigration crisis will take years of cooperative political leadership to untangle. Meanwhile, as people of faith, we are called to care for the children in its wake. This means praying for them, advocating for better conditions for them, and supporting organizations who are helping them like our church’s Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries. It also means being willing to help them ourselves should the opportunity arise. These children are a few hundred miles away from our homes, but faith compels us to hold them very closely in our hearts.