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Beyond Borders: Loving Our Neighbors

Before You read this blog, I think it's important that you know that I understand the necessity of borders and a thorough vetting process in order to protect the country. My questions are these, "How far do we allow it to go?" and "How far is too far?" We as Christians serve a greater ruler who holds us to a higher standard and our citizenship in His Kingdom requires a different response from us and this is what I want to talk about. How do we look beyond our borders and love our neighbors?

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”~ Mark 12:30-31

A neighbor is not someone you always agree with or even come close to seeing eye-to-eye with. A neighbor isn't even necessarily always the person that lives next door to you. It's the person with whom you share a common humanity with. Someone with whom you can relate to simply because you both share in the common human experience of sorrow, pain, fear, joy and happiness. While others may respond out of fear, anger and hate; we are called to respond with love and understanding. This is made possible through our own understanding that we are all living in a fallen state of humanity. Using this as a starting point we can utilize this as an opportunity to change misperceptions. This is where instead of closing ourselves off, we open ourselves up and show them the full measure of our God and refuge; in hopes that they too may find sanctuary in His presence.

Scripture calls us as Christians to love others for no other reason than this. And not just to love others, but to love them as much as we love ourselves. Jesus didn't call us to respond in this way because it would be easy, but because it would benefit us in our sanctification, so this is where we pick up our cross and follow Him. This is where we put others above ourselves when necessary. This is when we show grace and mercy even when the rest of the world would respond with hate and exclusivism. Christians should be the first to welcome refugees and immigrants with love, understanding and compassion. We should be at the front of the protests with the loudest voices. Calling our senators relentlessly. Writing our congressmen/women vigorously. Speaking and standing for those whose voices have been stifled or stripped altogether. We do this not for recognition or selfish ambition or gain, but we do so as Christians because understand what it is like to be a visitor in a foreign land; where the odds are stacked against you (1 Peter 2:11) and where love and grace changes everything! That though we were still sinners (through God's love for us and grace towards us) Christ died for us (Romans 5:8); allowing us the reconciliation with God the father and refuge from a land of despair and a new place to call home in heaven.

This is our opportunity to let the truth of the Gospel shine brightly through us. This is our opportunity to be ministers of the Gospel without even speaking a word. To show love and compassion to the the outcasts, the misunderstood and down trodden. This is not an issue of political party, this is an issue of human decency. Let us be the light in a darkened world. Let us shine so brightly that we outshine the torch of Lady Liberty and let shine ever so brightly the light of God's Kingdom!

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