The history of our nation is built upon immigrants settling here. An immigrant is a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence. Today, 40 million people living in the US are from another country, and 77% of them are here legally. An illegal immigrant is a person who enters the US without an entry or immigrant visa especially someone who crosses the border by avoiding inspection.
A refugee is a person who flees for refuge or safety especially to a foreign country as in time of political unrest, war, etc... There are 68 million refugees in the world right now, and 22,491 admitted to the US in 2018. Pray for them!
The Bible, our heritage and history, is full of immigrants and refugees. A "ger" is a sojourner, stranger, or foreigner. In the New Testament, the word "paroikos" is one who lives in a place without citizenship.
Examples from the Bible: Abraham, Moses, Joseph, the Nation of Israel, Naomi, Daniel, Jesus and his parents, and more! In fact, as Christians, we are foreigners as defined by 1 Peter 2:11.
We need to see everyone as the Imago Dei. Borders are good. In Deut 32:8 we see that our borders are good, right, and God-given. They are a God-ordained idea (Acts 17:26, Romans 13). We should submit ourselves to governing authorities, and whoever comes to a new country should follow the laws of that nation. There is so much going on in our nation regarding immigration, but our main job is to love all, give care to those we can, and comfort those around us.
How to Care for Sojourners:
1. Share food
2. Give generous financial help
3. Treat with fairness and justice
4. Do not oppress them
5. Remember that God loves the sojourner
1. Speak with grace and kindness as you show honor and dignity
2. Be intentional to build relationships with sojourners in your world
3. Remind yourself daily of "Imago-gration" - that ALL need Christ and ALL are valuable
4. Partner with our friends at Project 658
To Discuss Today:
1. Do you know anyone trying to become a US citizen? Talk to them about their hopes, dreams, and challenges.
2. Find a way to be an encouragement and resource for sojourners around you.