Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Probably you have been saddened, angered, troubled, and/or confused by the news about recent immigration actions carried out by our US government. There is not total agreement among citizens about what is occurring. Yet, as Christians, we follow a Lord and Savior who, by word and action, has shown us values of the Kingdom of God. These values apply to foreigners, strangers, immigrants. God’s values include acceptance, welcome, and love extended to all – especially children. I urge you to reflect on our Christian values, to pray for all who have been made vulnerable, to open your heart and mind to human beings from Central America and Mexico.
Earlier this week I shared with you a statement by faith leaders on this issue. The problem of migrants and immigration and the opinions about them are so powerful that I have chosen to address them in my sermon this Sunday, June 24 at 10 AM. Since my last email, ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has issued another statement, this time on the president’s Executive Order. If you would like to read this latest statement, please click here.
I leave you with these words spoken by Jesus to guide your reflection.
Pastor David M. Deal
Matthew 25:31-46 – The Judgement of the Nations
31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” 44Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” 45Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’