Monday, November 03, 2008

Following Jesus to the Borders

No one in Texas or a US border state has to tell you securing the borders and illegal immigration are topics that stir up emotions in this election. Undocumented workers and seemingly open borders cause local businesses and governments to wrestle with what to do with the influx of those seeking work and a home in the US without following the law.

This past Sunday, I interviewed Kenny Zheng, who became a naturalized citizen of the United States last year. He is a native-born Chinese. If you want to hear his story go here. He told of his decision to take the Oath of Allegiance for Naturalized Citizens and what that meant to him as he gave up all loyalty to his country of origin. He became a living metaphor for my message that portrayed w who are Christ followers as "resident aliens and strangers" in this world because we are ultimately "citizens of heaven." (Phil. 3:20)

Since we have become "fellow citizens with the people of God and members of God's household" (Ephesians 2:19) through Christ, we are to live as though we were "resident aliens and strangers" in this land. (1 Peter 2:11) Just as those who live among us as either undocumented workers or officially as "lawful permanent residents," we live with customs and lifestyles different from those of the land we reside in--even if we are native-born citizens.

The bottom line question is: How does your life show you are a "foreigner in this world" because your heart and values are in another "country?" (Hebrews 11:13-16) Is there any evidence you are a "citizen of heaven" by your language, actions, use of wealth, care for the poor, fill in the blank?

No one wants to weird or irrelevant, but if you have ever traveled to another country and you are the foreigner, you know what I am talking about. Live with the question a week and see what you come up with...

by the way, God gave some very clear instructions on how to treat the "aliens" who lived among His people. (Leviticus 19:9-10; 33-34) I believe these apply to us who claim loyalty to that same God today.

We went to Baylor Homecoming this past weekend. Great to see friends and re-live the memories. This was Summer's first official homecoming, and Cambell's first one as a future Baylor Bear. She went as newly hatched chick...she looks like "Queen Tut" to me in this pic.



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