Our common ancestor Abraham left his native land when he was 75-years old to become a migrant, a “wandering Aramean” (Deut. 26:5). We are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, who heeded God’s call to become a stranger in a strange land, a call to go forth to an unknown place of opportunity. How many of us think about the impact of answering that call on those whose lives will be forever altered by our presence? A call whose impact does not start or end with the personal choice we make in our own generation?
Faith Commons believes one of the most morally challenging issues we face in the world today is the challenge of global mass migration and its impact on U.S. immigration policy. How do we act as responsible stewards of this country while meeting the needs of millions upon millions of Abrahams, those who—like Abraham and like ourselves, our parents and grandparents—have migrated from the place of our birth to another place? As we explore the nature of this challenge and examine possible policy solutions, we can learn some lessons from our biblical patriarch:
- God blesses and protects him so that he can be a blessing to others (Gen. 12:1-3)
- When he acts selfishly and purposely misleads others, he brings suffering to them and God rebukes him for it (Gen. 12:14-20)
- When he is hospitable to strangers, even when experiencing personal discomfort, miracles occur (Gen. 18:1-15)
Abraham’s narrative is the narrative of one who learns, sometimes from the school of hard knocks, that God’s promise will never be fulfilled if we respond to our fears and uncertainties by causing fear and uncertainty in others. We must figure out together how to establish immigration policies that will bring blessing rather than curses to ourselves and others.