On Being Strangers

So a lot of my neighbors and coworkers are very upset and disgusted by Obama “using” the Bible to argue for his immigration policy’s reform. Question: how, as someone professing to be a disciple-student of Jesus, as someone claiming to be Christ-like, be against the end of deportation and the division of families for the sake of “the Law”. If your interpretation of the law requires you to separate parents from children, to take food from the mouths of the poor. What jobs are they stealing? How many of us are lining up for those sweet, sweet jobs of apple-picking and daylight-to-dark farm work for less than minimum wage. As children labor in tobacco fields, eyes bleary and mouths full of vomit, we sit and decry the “parasitism” of the illegal aliens, a term invented so we might disparage the stranger in our land. The stranger is explicitly the non-citizen, the wanderer without the rights of the son of the kingdom. We can preach about a better naturalization policy all we want; what about the stranger now? “We know your family is being divided and your parents are being taken from you, but if you will do some paperwork and in a year or two everything will be hunky-dory.” Where are your cries for justice, mercy, and family, my brothers and sisters? Instead, let’s focus on dehumanizing the very people who, like us, wear the image of God.
The so-called political wisdom of the President granting amnesty to strangers and families. “Oh,” they say, “he’s just doing it to get their vote when they become citizens.” Yet, you talk of Christ in a similar manner. You were poor, hungry, and lost, and damned–yet Christ took you in and made you a citizen of the kingdom, so you are grateful. So when the President makes the political choice to not sever families, to not oppress the stranger, cries for the Law of the Land go forth. They go forth from the same christians who dream of defying the Law when it comes for their beloved “school prayer,” “free speech,” and “traditional marriage” and so on. But when it comes to defying the Law to treat someone from Central or South America as Christ treated us, they say, “Lawbreaker!” Who in the name of Christ obeys the law when it starves a child (or, frankly, gets that child killed by a drug lord) or takes food from a man and cries, “The Lord loves!” Perverters of justice! White-washed tombs, your outside is white and pure while within you are full of rot and death. How long, O Lord, how long?
We are all strangers.
All we have is each other. We are all God’s children. Why do we seek any and all excuses to not bless or show love? What is wrong with us? Oh god, my God. He is not “my Father”–He is every and only Our Father. Our Father, the father to prodigals. The father to wanderers seeking a homeland and a city whose builder is God.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us, we sinners.

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