Gleanings – Kingdom Thoughts on Illegal Immigration

1 Peter 2: 11-25

“Beloved, I beseech you as aliens and exiles . . .”

That’s not very nice Peter. Name calling I mean. Aliens? Exiles? That seems a little harsh. We once called people from another country that had entered the United States and stayed without permission “illegal aliens.” We now call them “undocumented workers.” We want everyone to feel at home.

But Peter wasn’t talking about others. He was talking about his spiritual kin. He was talking about us. He was talking about Christians. We are the aliens. Our country of origin is elsewhere. We are the exiles. We are voluntarily absent from our home for a season ostensibly to serve our King on mission.

But Peter could have been wrong, right? Well apparently Paul thought the same thing. “But our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there.” See Philippians 3:20. Ok, perhaps the second generation went off on a tangent. Jesus did not use such language. Did he?

Hold the phone. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, because I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” See John 15:18-19.

Everywhere I look now I see alien, foreigner, sojourner, not of this world, citizen of heaven, not known, and even hated just as Jesus was.

Why then do I feel so at home in this world? Why then do we feel so at home in this world? How could a church ever be considered “established.” Why would we ever design worship or worship space to be neutral and remove everything (like a cross) that might offend? Why would we expect by our vote to establish the Kingdom on earth when in reality we should expect no right to vote at all because we are illegal aliens?

Ok. There are mitigating factors. We are meant to be salt and light. We are meant to be careful in how we engage outsiders (unbelievers). We may not be “of” the world, we are for it, groaning to see it redeemed.

So, without throwing the baby out with the bath water, can’t we have a serious conversation in which we admit there is more of the world in the church than there is church in the world? Just asking! It seems Jesus, unlike us, didn’t want everyone feeling at home or at least not so much. Just saying!

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