Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, Immigration is a big issue right now. The media is having a field day with the “migrant detention centers,” and the separation of children from their parents. U.S human activists are outraged by the recent reports which document the number of families who have been split apart due to illegal immigration and our new zero tolerance policy. Other people are outraged by the vast amount of people illegally entering our country and having the privileges and opportunities of natural-born citizens.
A few thousand years ago, Jesus walked up the side of a mountain. Thousands of people came to him. People with disease, sickness, and sin. People whose lives were messy, both the law-abiding citizen and the rule-breaker. When Jesus made it to the top of that mountain, he looked down at all of those people, and began to teach them about the Kingdom of Heaven. This place is a place unlike any other nation on the Earth. It’s so different, so diverse, so incredibly abnormal that no one dared believe it existed. But exist it does. Jesus taught many things about the Kingdom of Heaven, but primarily the Kingdom is a place where everyone is invited, and all are welcome. The Kingdom of Heaven is where every single person has a place at God’s table. There is always enough food, land, and resources to take care of everyone. No one can be turned away….If only they believe in the King of that land. It’s really that simple. Believe in King Jesus, have faith in his authority, and submit to his rule and reign. When you put your faith in Jesus, you become a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.
If Jesus were here today, in our country, speaking to us, with all our opinions about the way our nation should be run, about who should be in and who should be out… Jesus would teach us the same words today as he did 2,000 years when he gave the Sermon on the Mount.
For the Christian who lives in the Kingdom of Heaven, under the authority of King Jesus immigration into our nation whether illegal or legal gets really simple. At least, our posture towards people, gets really simple.
Here is a modern rendering of Jesus words, Matthew 5:43-48 (I hope you’ll give me a little grace and read thoughtfully through my paraphrasing of Jesus words, but I’d encourage you to check out his whole sermon, here!)
It’s generally accepted that you should love your countrymen and hate illegal immigrants. After all, they are breaking the rules of your country; they are criminals! But I’m telling you that I want you to love the illegal immigrant and pray for them, and I even want you to pray for those who would physically harm and take advantage of you! I know it sounds crazy, but when you treat illegal immigrants and criminals this way, you are treating them how God treats you. God’s love for you is not based on your merit, and it’s certainly not based on your citizenship status. You see God loves all people, regardless of race or status, regardless if we are evil people or if we try to be good people. God provides for those who love him, and he provides for those who hate him. That is who God is, and God’s love for us will never change, no matter who we are or what we do. So, love the illegal immigrants in the same way, for by doing this- you are showing them who God really is.
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