It’s been said that the immigration movement needs a leader. Another Cesar Chavez of sorts; an individual to embody the dream, whether the issue at hand is education, wages, human rights, labor rights, or legal status.
Yet looking out over the many aspects of the immigration debate in America, who could possibly encompass the cause? Who could stand for justice and usher in racial reconciliation? Who determines what rights each individual deserves as a part of their very being, their innate humanity?
There is no one man or woman who could stand for such a cause, who could answer these questions. Yet there are many who can participate in bringing about a new way of being, because they have a vision that comes from a leader who did not align with a cause, but rather was the cause, “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
During his life, Jesus stood on the borders of society, greeting the marginalized and dining with those not previously welcome at the table. After his death he then rose and established that no obstacle from here to eternity would ever be able to stand. His light proclaimed that the darkness in all its futile overpowering attempts would be forever cast out.
Thanks to his story, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the immigration debate does not have to be a question of politics, or justice, but rather a question of love. As Christians, God is our leader, who is constantly dreaming more than we could ever imagine and has equipped the church to live and serve as disciples, embracing and developing more disciples.
As the ultimate unifier, God is leading from within us, above us, and around us. God, who does not compress together cultures, countries, and stories, but rather embraces the individuality through saying that each is loved, good, and linked together as brothers and sisters, creating the richness of the Body of Christ. In following Him, we find a mission.So with this leadership, we have the gift of a Divine love, a Biblical call, an ever moving Spirit, and an international Christian brotherhood through the church.
Do we see the power of this gift, especially in the midst of the uproar over immigration?
The church can be the sanctuary, its people speaking as prophets. The church is where the children of God gather for nurture, nourishment, restoration, and transformation. It is organic and ever changing, yet solid, steady, and eternal.
The church knows how to listen and how to tell stories.
How to not just read Scripture, but to feed off of Scripture.
How to kneel and remember our common journey as sojourners on the earth.
How to break bread together and gather around a table.
How to return to a spiritual foundation and how to endure the journey through the desert to the promised land.
Every church community has a unique talent, or spiritual way of playing out a part of God’s story that rings especially true with them; some are especially geared towards outreach, some fellowship, some hospitality, some prayer. So then, each too can seek to join in the mission of God in the way they feel called. By inviting the stranger in for a meal, by storytelling, by outreach, by prayers….regardless of the act, all done by faith and in faith that God is the leader, God is the reconciler, God is the author of the story of Divine Love, and We, His beloved children, are called to be the faces of God. The church learns as the people learn, and together they find the Kingdom come.
So what does your church know? What you have you been taught by our King and how is it shaping your participation in his mission?
Laura Bardin is a student at Furman University working towards a Spanish degree with a minor in Poverty Studies. Passionate about the intersection of faith and immigration, Laura is spending the summer learning from the farm worker community in eastern NC as an intern with the Campaign for Migrant Worker Justice. To follow her journey this summer, visit http://lbbardin.wordpress.com/ .
Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of everyone associated with G92 or any institutions with which the blogger may be affiliated.