“Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone;” – Ephesians 2:19,20
In our political climate immigration is obviously a hot topic. One group blatantly ignores the laws of the land in order to allow non-citizens civilian rights and privileges to the detriment of the country. While another group strictly enforces the laws of the land to the detriment of the innocent individuals who were born here illegally without a say. Regardless of one’s political slant, the truth is that citizenship is more than just having rights and civil liberties. Citizenship is a sense of belonging, regardless of the country. Even the illegals in our nation know to what country they belong.
An African refugee boy named Saman is a young man without a country. He does not know if he was born in Mozambique or Zimbabwe. Saman never knew his father or his father’s family. As far as his mother, she was a refuge fleeing the dangers of many military engagements, and then became a street vendor traveling from country to country. Saman had no ID and while as a young boy he lost his mother as she moved from place to place. Saman became a boy who had no family and could not prove his birthplace. After trying to survive on his own, in desperation, Saman walked into a police station asking to be arrested. He thought prison would be better than trying to exist on the streets as a stranger and foreigner.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians church, and in his letter he let them know of two great and eternal blessing that they had inherited by believing and receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. First, Paul informs them that they are no longer orphans wandering around in the world with no sense of belonging. Secondly, Paul brings them up to date on their newfound legal status. These believers are no longer aliens and foreigners to the nation of God. By the encouragement of Paul, these believers realized that their past is gone. Their fears of not belonging are over. By God’s grace they are part of the great household of God with brothers and sisters from different cultures, different skin colors, different social status, and with God as their Father. Not only is this eternal household a family but also it is so enormously large that it is described as a nation. A nation whereby all who believe are citizens together with the same privileges and rights. There is no class warfare and no illegal immigration in this heavenly nation.
To those of you who are spiritually homeless wandering around as a stranger and foreigner to God. The good news is that your belonging is by believing in Him.
David C. Hale, pastor