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I Was a Stranger


Sabbath School commentary for discussion on October 30, 2021.

This week’s Adult Bible Study Guide focuses on the question of social ethics, particularly how Christians should treat those we sometimes consider strange, also know as strangers. According to Oxford Languages, “strange” denotes the “unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand.” It is a shortening of the Old French estrange,  from the Latin extraneus or external. Hello aliens, foreigners, teenagers, the queer, the loud. Here we meet the Other. The other from a different mother. They and them have arrived and now they’re inside our gates. We know they are on our planet, now they’re in our space—what should I do to or for thou?

Responding to this question, Frank Spangler, communications specialist at ADRA Canada, preaches a sermon titled “I Was a Stranger” that beautifully combines the lesson’s focus on Deuteronomy 10 with the story of Ruth. “Throughout the Bible, God asks us to welcome ‘the stranger,’” Spangler says. “On Judgement day, Jesus praises his faithful by saying, ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me in.’ Who is ‘the stranger’ and how can we ‘welcome them in?’”


Alexander Carpenter is executive editor elect of Spectrum

Image credit: Screenshot, ADRA Canada


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