I published a couple posts this week dealing with personal insecurities and their affect on marginalizing a group of people, specifically undocumented students. I apologized and then pointed the finger, blaming the majority culture for my thoughts and actions. Though the majority may deserve some portion of the blame I have come to realize that this division of hostility is something that has been engraved in us.
If I had to give three adjectives to undocumented students they would be: (1) separated, (2) alien, (3) uncircumcised. They are Gentiles.
The thing that is used to differentiate myself from any undocumented Hispanic is a social security number, something made by hands. I find it interesting that it impossible to prove both United States citizenship and belonging to Israel by just walk past a man, but instead is something that the man has to reach into his pants to show.
Paul discusses the separation between the Gentiles and Israel beautifully and with authority in Ephesians. He hits on how before the death of Jesus Christ the thing that did separate the Gentiles from the Jews was circumcision, and because of the absence of this work by man’s hand they were seperated from God’s chosen people and a wall of hostility was formed between the two groups.
Likewise, undocumented students are often times alienated from the Hispanic crowd, because they are not our people but outsiders trying to fit in.
Today’s hostilies with the undocumented and those between the Jews and the Gentiles are in fact one in the same. However, we are quick to forget that Jesus Christ addressed this hostility when he died on the cross.
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so makin peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:14-16)
Jesus made one new man; it was no longer the Gentiles and Jews, but the Christian. The Christian can do nothing by his own hands to obtain salvation, for it is by God’s grace he has been saved, through his faith. Circumcision could no long separate the Gentiles from God. A social security number cannot separate an immigrant from God.
Not only does he create a new man, but he breaks down hostility between the two groups calling them to live together praising the same God.
In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)
Reflecting on this, I’ve seen that the only real thing that may seperate myself from an undocumented student is his faith. If he has put his faith in Jesus Christ, then the cross has broken the wall that separates us and makes us into one man. And if my undocumented brother is hurting I am hurting because we are one body.
Find and feel the peace Jesus Christ has given us through his death.