Hank Millstein preaches on Jesus and Muslims. A Jew who is a practicing Catholic and working for a Muslim organization is bound to have something interesting to say about how others view Jesus.
This hymn has been one of my favorites ever since I encountered it as the opening hymn of the 1982 General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Thrilled at having been elected a delegate to our church's national convention—and thinking that that might be a start to a kind of political career in the national church—I thrilled at the stirring words and melody of the hymn, and it has stirred and moved me ever since.
Funny thing is, the Bible has a lot to say about being a stranger. In fact, the Bible seems to regard being a stranger as the normal human condition—maybe even the necessary condition for hearing the voice of God. Today's Scripture reminds us that we always need to keep in mind our status as strangers. "Treat the stranger right," it says, "because you've been strangers yourselves." So I'm going to talk today about one of my experiences of being a stranger. It's all about the many years that I spent—and am still spending—at Warm Springs [reservation in eastern Oregon]. That's why I'm wearing this ribbon shirt—it's one of the gifts I got while I lived there—some other gifts are on the altar today. But the greatest gift I got there was learning how to be what the Bible calls a sojourner—a stranger at home.