Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
As we begin the introspection let’s be honest. Much of what we hear in the media and from pulpits is focused on the law not on Christ. That is a falling away from grace. Let’s be sensitive. Persecution of the children brought illegally into the states and persecution of families is something not on God’s agenda. He is greatly opposed to such action.
Exodus 6:4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
God took strangers, illegal immigrants and made them into the nation of Israel. Seems like He has a soft spot.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
God places strangers, travelers, in our society as messengers. We need to distinguish between those He sends and arranges and those that just happen and those sent of an enemy.
So given these three premises, let’s take a look at our world.
Migrants: Migrants are people who come and go into and out of a culture or area. We have a migratory population in the church. People come and go. They “come to Jesus” and then return to their normal chaos and personal control. We have a migratory population in our nation. People come and go. They are here for a season to do a job or visit, but have no intention of staying for a lifetime. In the church and in our nation, we need a place for these people to exist, thrive, and have free return to their world. They can contribute fellowship and friendship for a season.
Immigrants: Immigrants are those that come to merge into a culture or area. We have an immigrant population in the church. People come and stay. They come and commit to the Lordship of Christ and grow into disciples in support, attendance, prayer, worship, fellowship, study and life. Sometimes they come in with questions and concerns and don’t know that they are going to stay and then they change, they commit. We have an immigrant population in our nation. People come and stay. Sometimes they come through an initial illegal means. They have questions and concerns and then they change, they commit. They become us.
Transitory: Transitory people can be dangerous. They come dangerous. They come to take, to abuse, and to vilify others. These are not migrants. There are transitory people in the church. They are predators, wolves in sheep’s clothing. They do damage. They gossip and slander and undermine unity. They need to be rooted out. There are transitory people in our nation. They live in the dark shadows of crime and abuse. They capture women and force them into human traffic situations. They abuse. They steal, kill, and destroy. They need to be rooted out.
When my father was without parents, another family took him in. He was a migrant,an orphan. At birth and later when his mother was killed. He was a migrant. A man named George Ollie took him into his home for a season and raised him. George was an immigrant. At ten years old, George hid on a boat from Syria to Mexico. His father was working on the boat. George was left in Mexico for a year and then his father brought him into the states. They became citizens. My father was raised by a Middle Eastern stowaway smuggled in from Mexico. A migrant become immigrant. Sometimes strangers become angels. George was my father’s angel and mine.
Be sensitive in the church and in the neighborhood to who is with us and why.
Stay clear of being too engaged in the pure legal definitions. You might miss your greatest blessing.
Remember you were a migrant when you came into the church and became an immigrant.