Remember, you don’t give life to the root. The root gives life to you.

photo by BrittneyBush

“Some of the natural branches have been broken off. You are a wild olive branch. But you have been joined to the tree with the other branches. Now you enjoy the life-giving sap of the olive tree root. So don’t think you are better than the other branches. Remember, you don’t give life to the root. The root gives life to you. ” (Romans 11:17–18, NIrV)

I am often reminded of this verse when in the middle of the immigration debate – which is often (irrespective of SB1070).

The arrogance and assumptions made by both sides are disheartening.  Thorough analysis of a complicated situation that literally has lives and families hanging in the balance seems rare – replaced by angry mobs chanting the talking points of whichever political leaders/reformers have caught their ears.  It is a good reminder that no matter which branch you consider yourself, cultivated or wild, you are simply enjoying the benefit of the root which is supporting you – not the other way around.  Everything can change, and quite quickly.

“Then the Lord God sent a vine and made it grow up over Jonah. It gave him more shade for his head. It made him more comfortable. Jonah was very happy he had the vine. But before sunrise the next day, God sent a worm. It chewed the vine so much that it dried up. When the sun rose, God sent a burning east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah’s head. It made him very weak. He wanted to die. So he said, “I’d rather die than live.” But God said to Jonah, “Do you have any right to be angry about what happened to the vine?” “I do,” he said. “In fact, I’m angry enough to die.” But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this vine. But you did not take care of it. You did not make it grow. It grew up in one night and died the next. Nineveh has more than 120,000 people. They can’t tell right from wrong. Nineveh also has a lot of cattle. So shouldn’t I show concern for that great city?” ” (Jonah 4:6–11, NIrV)

Just a hint – the worm is not the unauthorized immigrants to our country.

You are a recipient of grace and mercy.  You have been bestowed a tremendous privilege of living in the United States, the most prosperous nation in the world.  Remember where that life really comes from.  You aren’t it.  Ultimately our faith must not be in gov’ts, economies, reform movements, border protection, etc.   It must be in the grace and mercy freely poured out from the Father through Jesus Christ and subsequent transformation that comes from individual hearts set free.

Ultimately, followers of Christ should be more concerned about getting people into the Kingdom than in getting them out of the country.  They should do more searching of the Scriptures for guidance than scanning the channels.  The most disheartening part of these debates is how little of the former and how much of the latter is the norm for the body of Christ today.  May God have mercy on us.

The biggest challenge to our nation is an internal one and it is not immigrants.  We must have both revival and an awakening or we will not stand.  No amount of law enforcement nor border protection will change that fact.

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