Blessings from Butner PC
March 21, 2017
“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Ps 136:1)
The topic of immigration continues to be a hotly debated one these days, and not just in the United States. One of the driving reasons for the United Kingdom voting to exit the European Union was control of immigration. This trend toward isolationism is based on some legitimate concerns – rampant immigration puts a strain on existing infrastructure and resources – but the underlying worry is often one of fear. And yet aren’t most of us the descendants of immigrants?
The latest issue of Presbyterians Today includes an interesting article on the topic of immigration called “Justice for God’s World: Faith vs. Fear.” The author, Vernon Broyles III, makes a compelling argument that “Biblical mandate trumps worries about ‘outsiders’.” We are repeatedly called upon in the Bible to love our neighbor and show hospitality to strangers, and yet we often seem to be very selective about who fits into those categories.
There is no better example than the love of Jesus Christ. He showed care and compassion to the least and the lowly – the poor and sinners and prostitutes and tax collectors. He gave a voice to these people who would otherwise have had no one to speak on their behalf.
In closing, Broyles recalls the words of pastor Martin Niemöller of the German Confessing Church in the mid-1930s:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”