Love is intentionally inclusive!

Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,

As I write this eNote to our faithful and devoted community of radical and contextually conscious followers of Jesus Christ, there is a heightened awareness of how America, particularly government, has treated immigrant families.  Caged children.  Crying children.  Absent parents.  Separating children from their parents is demeaning, cruel, inhumane, and unbiblical.  There is no justification for dividing families.  As Christians, we are commanded to follow the instructions of God by exhibiting unity through radical hospitality of others.  We must move away from partisan politics to morality of middle where we are to become bridges and not barriers.

It’s important to note that Leviticus is addressed not just to priests but to the whole people.  Particularly in chapters 17-26, which is called by scholars the Holiness Code, instructions are given to all Israel about how to maintain holiness in the community.  And in these chapters, there is no distinction between what we might call “religious” concerns and “secular” concerns.  All of life matters to God — what we eat, how we do business, who we sleep with, how we care for the land, our relationships with family, neighbors, and strangers — all of it matters to God.

In Leviticus 19:33-34, God speaks to the Israelites, When immigrants live in your land with you, you must not cheat them.  Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens.  You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.”  (CEB)  There are several key components of this Scripture worth noting through a series of questions.

Why did God need to mention this to the Israelites about immigration?  People have a tendency to forget history, especially the atrocities of the past.  God is constantly reminding us of the connection of our common humanity.  Immigrants are people too and separating families is simply evil and not an expression of the Christian faith.  Leaning into this moment in America history will take constant courage and an unyielding commitment to seeing all the people!

Why treat other people as citizens?  Citizenship comes with responsibilities and accountability.  For the Israelites, God held them accountable for being holy and a representative of God.  As followers of Jesus in America, we are representatives of Christ and citizens with others.  Paul the Apostle writes, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.”  Ephesians 2:19 (NIV)

Although there was an executive order signed, the hearts of these families are forever broken.  Our hope as Christians is that the love of Christ can restore their broken hearts and awaken all of us to remember that we are all immigrants in a foreign land.

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Love is intentionally inclusive!”

Remember to pray The Lord’s Prayer every day at 12 Noon!

As always, remember, God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!
Pastor Stephen

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