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Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 | 0 comments

If the World Has a Heartbeat

The following  could be used as a brief Greeting & Welcome or a Call to Worship.  It was written in June 2018 as the United States Government, citing Scripture as justification, was separating children from their parents and guardians at the southern border.  This is a reminder that we are compelled by our faith in Christ to offer radical hospitality and to welcome the stranger.  (Biblical citations below are from the New Revised Standard Version). 


If the world has a heartbeat it’s this: welcome the stranger.

None of us know the mind of God, of course, but perhaps God made this the heartbeat of the world because God knows that when we welcome the stranger…blood pumps, nutrients spread…oxygen reaches the places it’s needed…and all of us, native and stranger alike, find life together.

And when wherever the stranger is not welcomed…death comes for us all.

And so, time and again, God says things like this: “do not oppress the alien…do not wrong the alien for you were aliens in Egypt…and “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

If the world has a heartbeat it’s this: welcome the stranger.


© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2018

Kevin Goldenbogen is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ serving Charlotte Congregational Church in northwestern Vermont. He skis, runs, bakes bread, rides a red Vespa, and tries every day to follow Jesus. He is married to the perfect woman and has two boys who he loves beyond words.

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