old bookOnce upon a time there was a nation which ascended in power and wealth to the point that it was the envy of all the nations of the world. The nation was called:

“The Republic of Awesome.”

 

It seemed each nation facing the Republic of Awesome in battle lost. Most countries chose to become close friends with this nation. Its military, financial, & cultural influence on the world was unparalleled.

People would tour the country with astonishment as they witnessed the great achievements of this people. The buildings were impressive in the Republic of Awesome, or “R.A.” as some call it. Education and social systems were advanced beyond all others. People from around the world sent their brightest to learn from their teachers. The government of R.A. was not perfect–but it was better than any other country. And the economy of the Republic of Awesome became a harbinger of the economy of the entire world.

A particularly bad crisis arrived and began to deeply impact the economy of the Republic of Awesome. Because of inspired leadership, however, R.A. survived the crisis and in some ways thrived in the midst of it. The rest of the world, however, did not do so well. People from all over began to cross the borders of R.A. At first they came for short term economic reasons. But conditions in their homelands did not improve–so they often returned.

The Republic of Awesome did not mind this as the visitors were economically helpful to R.A. at first. In fact, they encouraged it with a variety of public policies managed by the central government. Over time, however, those coming to the country began to stay in the Republic of Awesome. Some stayed because of economic opportunities not found elsewhere. Others stayed because family members had become citizens. Some stayed because the Republic of Awesome was, well, kinda awesome. Who wouldn’t want to stay there?

Many generations passed and more and more people immigrated to the Republic of Awesome. So many, in fact, that a huge portion of the total population of R.A. were the descendants of immigrants. Most assimilated into the culture well, but one group in particular didn’t assimilate as much. They kept speaking their own language. They didn’t have the same religious practices. They looked different and seemed like a whole separate nation within the nation.

Many didn’t mind this, because they were doing the work that nobody else wanted to do. But their numbers grew so fast that the public and the leaders became fearful of the immigrants–thinking they might take over their entire culture.

You likely know the rest of this story…

The Republic of Awesome ended up enslaving the immigrants. Oppression was rampant. Work conditions which were already dire became critical. Eventually they limited the amount of babies that could be born. Later on they killed the newborn children born from these immigrant people.

One day a more privileged immigrant walked in from the desert speaking for the Immigrant God. He predicted that 10 bizarre disasters would be visited upon the Republic of Awesome if justice was not offered. He said that God had spoken to him from a burning bush near Mount Sinai.

The End.

In the Book of Exodus you can read the entire story of the Immigrant God, who said he had heard the cries of his people and who spoke through a man named Moses for them. It is a reminder to us today to hear the cries of the oppressed stranger among us, and provide a clear and just path to citizenship for them. We who are citizens of the Republic of Awesome of our day should take note that our Lord is the God of the Foreigner who works justice for the stranger living in our midst. People of the Word should look to the past to form ethics in the present, or in the future we may regret being on the wrong side of history.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,

I was a stranger and you invited me in.” -Matthew 25:35


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