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"The stranger has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the sojourner." (Job 31:32)
In recent years immigration has become a target of heated political controversy that reaches into nearly every community. How does our biblical faith address this issue? And how should people of faith respond to the immigrant crisis? The principle of hospitality and the commandment to welcome the stranger are among the most consistent themes of the Bible. How does that apply to the question of undocumented immigrants in our own country?
In alternating chapters writer Ched Myers and pastor Matthew Colwell explore these questions. Myers examines the biblical dimensions of hospitality, sanctuary, the crossing of borders, and God's predilection for those on the margins. Colwell relates the stories of immigrants and immigrant rights activists--their hopes, dreams, and sufferings--men and women who, by acting upon their common humanity with the "other," have learned to cross a different kind of boundary.
Ched Myers, a writer, educator, and "theological animator," works with Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, where he focuses on building biblical literacy, church renewal, and faith-based witness for justice (www.chedmyers.org). His many books include Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Marks Story of Jesus and (with Elaine Ennis) the two-volume Ambassadors of Reconciliation (all from Orbis).
Matthew Colwell is pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, California and is the author of Sabbath Economics: Household Practices (Tell the World Press, 2007).