|The Exodus Story
The call to remember the stranger or alien in the land appears throughout the story of Israel’s journey with God. After God delivered them from captivity in egypt, the Israelites went out as migrants and wandered in the wilderness for years. It was in the time of their wandering, in their wilderness, that they truly become the people of God. It was in the wilderness that God made a covenant with the people.
In Genesis, heavenly beings or angels are disguised as strangers in biblical accounts of hospitality. In Genesis 18, Abraham and Sarah welcome the three men who appear at the entrance of their tent by preparing a meal with the choicest of ingredients. In Genesis 19, Lot’s extension of hospitality to two strangers opens the door for the gift of safe passage from Sodom before its destruction.
|What responsibilities do Christians have in relation to ‘illegal aliens’?
This is a question of essential importance for it asks about a disciple’s responsibility to society’s most vulnerable in a hostile world. Throughout Scripture and the history of the Church, believers witnessed to a more truthful mode of life by living out God’s love and grace despite laws not in harmony with God’s character. By faith Moses was placed in a wicker basket against the law, Daniel refused to worship King Darius, and in Acts 4 Peter and John went on preaching the good news found in Christ, replying to the authorities: “Judge for yourselves whether it is right to obey you rather than God.” (Acts 4:19)
|The Story of Onesimus
Paul is indefinitely detained on capitol charges of preaching and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whose Kingdom turns on its very head the Empire’s arrogant world order and misbehavior. Paul stands guilty as charged, a citizen of Rome, but also an alien and an immigrant, whose allegiance is not to any one nation, but to God’s new Kingdom.
Thoughts from both the Old and New Testaments as well as some contemporary views on Justice from a Christian perspective.
|Primary Citizenship: The Kingdom of God
The thought of relating policy to how we live as followers of Jesus may seem far-fetched at first glance. A close look at Scripture, however, shows that God has always been interested in how we live in relationship to the community surrounding us.
|Migration In Scripture
The story of Abraham begins by the Lord asking him to leave his country, home and relatives to go to an unknown land (Genesis 12:1).The story follows Abraham and his family traveling as migrants to Canaan. At one point in the jour- ney,Abraham is forced to travel to egypt.“now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to the land of egypt to reside there as an alien” (Genesis 12:10). Later, the family of Jesus would also be forced to flee to egypt for safety from king herod (Matthew 2:13-15).
“Refugio fled one night from her home in Central America, bringing her three small children with her. She was uncertain of her future but convinced that she could no longer stay in the abusive marriage she had endured for more than a decade. The profile of her battered nose gave silent testimony to the beatings that had been regularly inflicted on her by her husband. She had withstood the beatings for the sake of the children—or so she believed until one day the children became the objects of her husband’s uncontrollable rage. It was then that she gathered up the courage to leave her husband. It was a risky proposition, but the welfare of her children required it of her.