Looking at foreigners with God’s heart

Bishop’s Message

“And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”

~ Isaiah 56:6-8

We humans tend to form cliques, and we click with those who are like us and who like us. We avoid those who are different from ourselves—who talk differently, see differently, hear differently, move differently or even think differently—and especially those who believe differently. In our minds, perhaps they are like “foreigners”.

But God sees each person as precious and wants his house to be a house of prayer “for all peoples” who “join themselves to the Lord”.

Many people around us are made to feel like outcasts. They may be differently abled, or unable to be productive according to the norms in our culture. We need to see them with God’s heart, for their worship is precious to God for its purity. He does not measure them by their economic capability or intelligence. He loves them.

If we are uncomfortable with those different from ourselves, let us ask why this may be so. And whether we know the answer or not, let us embrace them with love and invite them to the community that bears God’s Name.

Will we do that, today?

Bishop Dr Gordon Wong was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020.
He served as President of the Trinity Annual Conference from 2012-2020.