Easter and the Immigration Question
Apr 25, 2011 by M. Daniel Carroll R. | 0 Comments
Every year at this time Christians from all kinds of denominations and backgrounds and all over the globe commemorate the death of Jesus and his resurrection. These two events are the foundation of Christian faith. Through his death Jesus defeated sin, death, and Satan and in his resurrection the efficacy of that work was vindicated and his identity as the Son of God demonstrated to all humankind.
These events are explicitly connected to daily living by Jesus and the apostles. His coming death and resurrection are motivations to be faithful to the end, even in the midst of suffering, Jesus says, and they are the trigger that signaled the coming of the Holy Spirit to console, strengthen, and unify (Jn. 14-17). The New Testament authors also looked to the death and resurrection as a major foundation of their teaching. For example, in the book of Romans Paul argues that the cross frees us from the bonds of sin and allows us to enter into relationship with God through faith (Rom. 1-4); in 1 Corinthians the resurrection of Jesus guarantees the reality of the resurrection of believers (1 Cor. 15), and in Ephesians the victorious and exalted Christ pours out gifts of the Spirit to edify his church (Eph. 1:3-2:10; 4:1-16).
Another of the many things that the cross and resurrection accomplished was to tear down the gender, racial, and social differences among all people and especially within the people who call themselves Christians (Eph. 2:11-22). Jesus has brought peace to where there are natural differences and clashes. This new reality is to be demonstrated visibly at the celebration of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:17-34). All who believe in Jesus are to be welcomed at the table; yes, all humanity is invited to the table of remembrance to learn about this One and to confess him as Lord and Savior.
How might looking at immigration through the eyes of the cross and resurrection, and therefore the Lord’s Supper, affect our attitudes and perspectives… especially when millions of those who have come—both documented and undocumented—claim the Christian faith? What of the acceptance of the “other” and hospitality to the outsider? What of the sharing with brothers and sisters and of the testimony of unconditional love toward those who do not know Jesus, whether native-born or immigrant?
May this Easter season enrich our conversations about immigration.