Session 6: OUTWARD

22 September 2020

Exodus 22:21 (ESV)
You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Artist: Tun-I Yen
Really touched by the sharing on how our Christian migrant workers would take shelter in a lorry while praying, and continue to worship there. Whilst we have large comfortable churches that they don’t enter in. The ad-hoc lorry becomes their church.
Striking thought. We may not realise it, but have we become the Egyptians in this scenario?!
Artist: Geraldine
God loves everybody in the world – people from different nations and tongues. In most communities, there are the locals in the land and foreigners too. To be able to accept and love the foreigners, we need to have the right attitude towards them and treat them the way God would have us to. Many see foreigners as people who occupy our land and take away the things that belong to us .
There is a certain kind of plant call the epiphytes. The characteristic of this plant is that it can grow on other plants for support. They do not absorb nutrients from the host plant because they can carry out photosynthesis to produce food for themselves. Being different from other plants they also add variety and beauty to the forest and landscape. When foreigners come into our land, they need us to share our things with them but they can eventually be self-sufficient and contribute to our society as well.
According to the Scripture in Exodus 22:21,
we must not exploit or oppress a foreign resident for we, ourselves were once foreigners before in the land of Egypt.
Foreigners are put here by God to help us to love them. God is teaching us to share the things that are from him. We must realise too that just like the sunlight, rain and air belong to him and not to the people of the land, we must learn to share the things that belong to God. We can bless others with what we are blessed with by God . We should also appreciate their contributions.
The foreigners can contribute their hard labour and skills to help our economy. We should appreciate and be thankful to them. Finally, we must understand that different kinds of people are placed in our lives to change us to reflect the image of God.

Artist: Jillian
A battered reed he will not break off
A smouldering wick he will not put out

The idea of the reed being bruised and weak led me to think of a cucumber creeper growing on a scaffold, upwards towards the light. Our role as supports is to come alongside. Then the picture developed to include another creeper, that we are together as a fellow creeper, fragile too, and that we connect and have empathy because of the adversity we have also lived through. That vulnerability brings fruitfulness.
Artist: Yuri
Exodus 22:21 (NIV) “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”
Exodus 15:17-18 (NIV) “You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance — the place, O Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established. The Lord will reign for ever and ever.”

Greens are the mighty hands of God. Yellow light is His mercy or the Holy Spirit. The blue and purple from the ground is the divided sea (the red sea in Exodus 15) or the sufferings in this world. The brown and orange dots are people of God. God always save and deliver us. God told me that, just like what God did to Israel and me, I have to be kind to others, aliens, and the needy.

緑は神の力強い御手、 黄色の光は彼の慈悲または聖霊。 地面からの青と紫は、左右に割れた海(出エジプト記15の紅海)またはこの世界の苦しみ。 茶色やオレンジ色の水玉は人々です。

Author: Jillian

Come alongside
What is weak
Upwards towards the light
In our own weakness and fragility too
Shared adversity

Artist: Lye Wan Chan
Thinking about Ex 22:21 led me to Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,” how Jesus himself became a foreigner – leaving His home and becoming a man – so that in him, we are no longer foreigners 🙂