With God there is no night but only day. For when God looks at you and me he always sees a much cherished child and never a stranger. There is nothing in us — nothing about us — that God does not see, and yet even on our worst days, God’s attitude towards us — what he really thinks about us — never changes: “You are my dear boy, my dear girl,” he says. “I love you, and I’ll never give up on you, never call you stranger.”
For those of us who have come face to face with our frailties and have seen and named our sinfulness, those words of the Lord are both comfort and healing, “you are my dear boy, my dear girl, and I’ll never give up on you.”
But those words are more than comfort and healing for us. They are also God’s mandate to us. God, in his gracious hospitality, has welcomed every single one of us inside the circle of his love and left no one outside. He is asking us to do the same. He is asking us to make the habit of hospitality the foundation of our lives. “As I have welcomed you into my life,” he’s saying, “so must you welcome one another and call no one stranger.”
How different every part of our lives could be if we refused to label anyone “stranger.” How different the way we’d drive and do business and even celebrate this liturgy. How different life could be if we said inside our heads, “I don’t know her name, I don’t know who he is — and I probably never will — but I do know she’s my sister, and he’s my brother. And I cannot call them strangers. I cannot fail to value them.” How different life would be!
So let us pray for one another:
God grant that the night will end for us all. In his light may we look upon one another’s faces and see there brothers and sisters to be welcomed and cherished always! Amen.