Each week during the "Sitting in the Kitchen" sermon series, I will be posting on my blog some of the key points from my sermon as well as various Scripture passages related to that week's topic. I invite comments and discussion regarding these ideas and the sermon. You can listen to the entire sermon at www.fbc-elon.org/podcast.
Now, on to this week's sermon introducing the concept of the series and discussing the issue of illegal immigration.
1. Scripture is still a relevant and powerful tool for understanding and addressing modern day issues. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
2. The issue of immigration, even illegal immigration (from a worldly perspective, at least) is an issue which Scripture is very familiar with. Genesis 12; Numbers 21:21-25.
3. The issue of illegal immigration spawns questions regarding border security, immigration laws, economic forces, educational systems, medical care, and welfare. It is difficult in a sermon to deal with all of these questions, but perhaps a "broad brush" approach to the issue can provide some helpful thoughts.
4. Christians are called to obey the laws of the land; and governments have a God-given responsibility to be a servant for their citizens' good and punish wrongdoers. 1 Peter 2:13-17; Romans 13:3-4.
4. The issue of illegal immigration is fundamentally about people, many of whom are seeking to escape very difficult circumstances and find a better life. Christians have an obligation to not mistreat the alien and to serve their needs, not turn their back on them. Exodus 22:21-23; Matthew 25:31-46.
5. Micah 6:8 - "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" In seeking to pull together the first two ideas, we should begin with the third.
To walk humbly with our God is to seek His justice, which does not distinguish by prejudice like our justice can do. Galatians 3:28.
To walk humbly with our God is to realize that we are not only givers of mercy but needy recipients as well.
To walk humbly with our God is to see beyond the illegal immigrants living in our country and see the need and desperation that drove them to come here and say, "Here am I, Lord, send me." Isaiah 6:6-8.
To walk humbly with our God is to recognize that we were once aliens to God's kingdom, and only through Christ's grace and sacrificial love have we been made citizens of His kingdom. Ephesians 2:17-22.