From Alien to Citizen

Text: Ephesians 2:19
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, (NRSV)

One of the issues we often hear about within the political divide of our country has to do with immigration policy.  There is a concern that the aliens who enter through our borders will somehow change our culture in ways that will make us unrecognizable as the nation we are today.  The unspoken, and sometimes not so unspoken, expectation is that those coming into our nation will adapt to our current culture and leave their old ways behind as they assimilate into our values and norms.

No matter how you feel about the current debate on immigration, when we become citizens of the Kingdom of God and are no longer strangers and aliens, the expectation is that we will cease to operate by the cultural values and norms of the world but will live into the cultural values and norms of God’s Kingdom.

No longer are we to put the gathering of wealth above the needs of our neighbors.  No longer are we to perpetrate acts of revenge.  No longer are we to refuse to forgive one who has broken our trust and seeks our forgiveness.  No longer are we to put our interests above the interests of others.  No longer are we to push and shove to the front of the line of power and privilege.  No longer are we to withhold the resources we have from those in need.  We are to live out of the love God has demonstrated by the sending of his Son.  We are to live as those who serve others as demonstrated by Jesus as he washed the feet of his disciples.  We are to seek out the least and the last and the lost and bring them back into the loving arms of our Shepherd King—the ruler of the Kingdom of God.

How have you done with leaving your old cultural values and norms behind when you entered into the Kingdom of God through Jesus?  In what ways do you need to still adapt your current way of life with the expectations of Kingdom Life?

Pray with me:

King of kings and Lord of lords teach me your way as I move from being a citizen of this broken and evil world into a citizen of your Kingdom of light and of love.  Transform me from my former life into a new life of love, grace, forgiveness, and generosity.  AMEN.

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