President Obama spoke at the Annual Hispanic Prayer Breakfast yesterday. I was surprised that he set up and addressed the issue of immigration reform and urged pastors and clergy to carry out their ministry in partnership with his power in politics. The meat of it begins at about 2:00.
“Immigration is a moral imperative, and we are seeking greater understanding from our faith. As it says in Deuteronomy…”
I love how he says that we must not develop amnesia regarding our own situation how we got to where we are. This is precisely what God commands his people in Deuteronomy 10:19 (Obama’s speechwriter actually did a fair job of interpreting the verse), but from an even deeper place. Rather than just remembering our family trees and heritage, God commands his people to care for the sojourner in their midst because they were sojourners in the land of Egypt, delivered by God from slavery and oppression. He references nothing less than the history of redemption and salvation. Care for the immigrant because God cared for you in such a way as to save you and deliver you. Care for them so you don’t forget who you are and what God has done for you.
If you’re interested in this topic and want to learn more, a couple of great resources are the Urban Entry videos produced by my friend Scott Lundine out in Denver. Vol. 4 deals with immigration, but the other videos deal with Charity and Transformation, Poverty, and Race. They are high quality, short, discussion starters for you and your group. I like them because there’s no presumption or arrogance. They just raise the questions and pose some answers. Here’s a sample from YouTube.
Here’s one by Dr. Daniel Carroll who wrote a great book on what the Bible says about immigration called, Christians at the Border.
I’d be interested to know. What are your biggest questions/struggles with the issue of immigration reform? Where do you think Christians need to stand?