Don’t mistreat any foreigners who live in your land. Instead, treat them as well as you treat citizens and love them as much as you love yourself. Remember, you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.Leviticus 19:33-34 (CEV)
I don’t typically post about political subjects, even though I have a strong interest in what is going on in our country and have been very active in past years. And this post will not be political. But we are confronted daily on television, radio, social media, print media, and wherever you may get your news with what is going on at the border. Living in southern Arizona, just 76 miles from that border, we must deal with the consequences of the huge influx of legal and illegal immigrants daily.
From a Biblical perspective, borders have been encouraged from the beginning of civilization. God had given the children of Israel land that they conquered and inhabit to this day. Their neighbors regularly fought them to retake it which required wars, walls and maps to delineate to whom it belonged. All was necessary to preserve the sovereignty of the nation.
The Hebrew people also dealt with legal and illegal inhabitants. God was specific on their treatment. All were accorded the same measure of dignity as image bearers of God, however, they didn’t have the same privileges,
So what is the answer to this problem? Grace and truth. Jesus was the perfect example for us to follow:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14 (ESV)
There is a tension between those words that challenge us as we develop policies and attitudes towards those who seek to come to America. Do we want legalism or grace to flow from the Christian community? The guard rail is the love of Jesus. If we ask the hard questions about what is right and how do the rules need to be applied, love is the salve that smooths the rough edges.
May our hearts be soft and our words generous even as we look to truth for the roadmap to solve this thorny issue.