Monday, February 23, 2009


It stresses me out. I've long held the conviction that this is the United States of America, a country founded on freedom, opportunity, life, for one and for all. But who is "all"? In my relatively conservative community, I see graffiti all the time posted anywhere they can tag saying, "illegals out". Funny enough, they just DID something illegal, should they be out?

Which brings me to what bothers me deeply, the whole sense of deserving. It is so sickly pervasive in our culture. We think we "deserve" a new car. We "deserve" that second piece of cake, we "deserve" to go shopping after a long hard week. What do we really "deserve"?

We deserve death. The Word tells us straight up that the wages of sin is death, and we've all sinned, so that's what we "deserve". The Lord graciously gives us one breath after another, and we don't "deserve" even that! "Deserve". The very word grates on me. Sigh.

But back to the immigrants. I think it's a highly unchristian attitude to think that this place is OURS and if you weren't born here, you don't get to come. I'm talking about Kingdom economy here. In God's economy, the Haves are supposed to share with the Have-nots. I'm not talking about communism, because it's supposed to be a choice, an act of worship to the glory of God. We don't engage in much Philippians 2:3 around here, "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves."

I'm not throwing stones, I'm as guilty (deserving of death) as anyone else. This morning, though, I was reading in Leviticus 19:33-34, and I think it puts a pretty fine point on the whole issue of dealing with aliens.

" 'When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'"

"I am the Lord your God", indeed.