This past week I had to give a sermon for my Expository Communication class which is always a good time (it’s one of the most artificial environments to try and preach in). My assigned text was Leviticus 19:33-34:

When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

As I studied this topic I was constantly assaulted with our current discussion of the issue of illegal immigration. This is one of those topics that you really need to take some time and think through to see what your own feelings on the matter are, and then see if you need to adjust them in light of what is being taught in the Word.

For the longest time I was pretty anti-illegal immigration; what I mean by that is that my thought was simply to deport them all and let their own governments sort out what to do with them. But as I’ve reflected on the teaching in Leviticus I’ve had to really question that philosophy.

The first thing I would say is that I still don’t think it is right that people are coming to our country in violation of our laws. Our country has put laws into effect for the protection of us, the citizens, and when someone breaks those laws it harms all of us. My desire now is that people should be put on the right track to becoming legal citizens. How exactly that looks is something I’m not willing to take the time to think up as that is not my area of expertise, nor would anyone actually pay attention to my ideas anyway!

The other thing that has changed in my thinking about this issue is that it is not just a group of people; rather each one is an individual. I think too often in this debate we tend to focus on the group, illegal immigrants, and forget that these are all people with their own thoughts and feelings. By lumping everyone together it makes it easier to dehumanize them and remove ourselves from the situation. Instead we need to consider that each person is just that, a person! They have been made in the image of God just like I have been.

So then what are we to do when it comes to issues like employment of illegal immigrants? That is something I’m still working through; at what point do we break the laws of our country in order to do what we think is the right thing? Again from Leviticus we see that we are to treat the “stranger” among us as if they were one of us. We are to love them just as we would anyone else (of course that begs the question: are we loving other people?).

I’d encourage you to take some time and think about this important issue for yourself. Examine what the Scriptures say (read the parable of the Good Samaritan again, Luke 10) and base your thinking upon what the Word teaches. Maybe there are some practices, or thinking, in your life that you need to change. Let God do what he needs to do in your life!

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