But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 (NRSV)
As I journeyed to the Mexican/American border, I encountered my brothers and sisters of the faith. I did not encounter criminals and I did not encounter Republicans or Democrats. My encounter was with a people who were without a land and without a home.
As a people of faith, we are in a land that is not our home. We are a part of a heavenly kingdom that has, as its King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus did not choose one side or the other. When we choose a side, we become the very bigots that we judge others to avoid.
When we choose Christ, we choose all people. God is no respecter of persons and is the Savior of all. We are a people of a new home; the only place we can live if we have truly given up our lives to serve the Kingdom.
Jesus was where Jesus always is – with God. Jesus neither condemned nor encouraged sin. The righteous place in which Christ stood was a Holy Place. It was a place we seek to be as a follower of Christ. It is a place in which we find a home and find a family that is made up of all the children of God. We are together, not by our sameness or agreements; rather, we are together because we are with the one Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has given us place, space and a unity that only God can create. “OUR” futile attempts at unity will fail. With the presence of the Holy Spirit, we will indeed encounter being one people under one Lord.
One of our presenters stated that “we have always been friends and family on the border. It has only been in this political climate that a divide has come.” Make a decision today to be friends and family. Set aside the weight of politics that beset us. We are citizens of a heavenly home that welcomes us all.
A Prayer adapted from St Oscar Romero:
Let us follow Christ,
let us believe in him,
let us say to him, like Peter,
“We have left all, Lord.”
From the NC Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Immigration Alliance
To educate this week:
Try to find ways to host an English as Second Language class.
To cultivate growth this week:
Write letters to immigrants in detention.
To advocate this week:
Build a rapid response network within your congregation and community interest partners.
Gil Wise is the district superintendent for the Beacon District.