Internationals Ministries / Justice and Peacemaking Ministries / Missions

God’s Gift

Sue and I began LUCHA Ministries in 2004 with United Methodist colleagues Victor and Heather Gomez to address social, spiritual, family and community-development needs we observed in the Latino community in the greater Fredericksburg, Virginia area.  In partnership with area agencies, churches and others, we’ve offered ministries of transportation, translation, food, spiritual outreach, summer youth activities, training, and others.  Such offerings remain a priority for our ministry.

But lately we have felt God tugging us to lend our voices to the seemingly irresolvable issue of comprehensive immigration reform, if for no other reason than to stand up and be counted.  As far as I can tell, while the federal government fiddles, the country burns with heated rhetoric and inflamed passions that do little to solve the issue.  We recommend EthicDaily.com’s DVD, Gospel without Borders as an excellent tool for initiating a dialogue with those who seek insight in light of current realities.

Standing with the immigrant is a matter of justice, for God commands us to welcome the alien with compassion.  But for the church, standing with the immigrant is also a matter of relevancy and honesty.  I am particularly struck by what Dr. Lamin Sanneh of Yale University – who has written much on the translatability of the gospel in all cultures – writes in his book Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity: “No culture is so advanced and so superior that it can claim exclusive access or advantage to the truth of God, and none so marginal and remote that it can be excluded.  All have merit; none is indispensable.”

We stand with the immigrant because justice demands it.  But we must also do so because our immigrant sister and brother – with her understanding of and relationship to God, with his unique gifts and resources, with their sufferings and victories, their energy and passion – have much to teach us about the fullness of our God and of his Christ.  Simply put, we need our immigrant brothers and sisters, and the cultures they bring, to lead us to God.  I don’t think we can adequately stand with our immigrant friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters until we see them as God’s gift to us.  Thank you, God, for your indescribable gift!

2 thoughts on “God’s Gift

  1. Agreed! The way we treat the foreigner among us says much more about our faith than any words we use. I reposted this on CBF’s Justice and Peacemaking page. Thanks for writing it!

    “When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God.” —Leviticus 19:32-34 (The Message)

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