A United Methodist understanding on immigration; an act of Christian compassion
REV. DANIEL MEDINA
The “Book of Resolutions” of The United Methodist Church states: “The Bible is full of stories of sojourners, strangers without homes, immigrants whom God called people to protect. God did not let the Israelites, after their exodus from Egypt, forget that they had been without a homeland for such a long time; the ethic of welcoming the sojourner was woven into the very fabric of the Israelite and early Christian culture, religion and law.”
Jesus exemplified the love of God to the world and revealed how we are to act with love and compassion for the alien. Actually, Jesus’ most meaningful account of how we should behave once we are aware of God’s love is in the story of the Good Samaritan, in which the love of God is conveyed through the kindness of an alien.
From Adam and Eve walking out of Eden to Abraham leaving his land and relatives, from Moses in the desert to Ruth the foreign immigrant, from Jesus and his itinerant ministry to Paul and his dual citizenship, we find the scriptures filled with stories of God’s people leaving one place and finding another to look for a better place to fulfill God’s plans for their lives.
The radical love of God as expressed by Jesus Christ transcends race, nationality, language, and status. It is a love that cries for justice and peace; it is a love that is sorely needed today.
Rev. Daniel Medina serves as pastor of Nueva Vida United Methodist Church in Macon and associate director of Connectional Ministries for Hispanic Ministries.