There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I will depart this Sunday morning with our youth mission team for Mexico at 5:00 AM. You're welcome to come see us off. We head there amidst a challenging year of US/Mexico relations. We will serve in a border region that has been populated for many years by the poorest of Mexico and their southern neighbors who have fled poverty, oppression, drugs, and violence and can go no further north. We go because so much of God's word to us in scripture and God's son and prophets tell us that these people are our brothers and sisters, that these children are our children, as sure as the blood members of our immediate family.
While non-believers and those of any faith might take pity on those of other nationalities when they see their plight, we are compelled as believers to answer God's repeated calls to see each person as God's beloved child and our brother or sister and to see their children as our very own. God devotes the first four commandments to our relationship with God and the next six to our relationships with our brothers and sisters. And then spends hundreds of years, all the judges, prophets, kings, apostles, Christ and his parables, and men and women of the early Church to explain who our brothers and sisters are.
If we take these countless lessons seriously, we may be people of any nation and location proudly, but never at the cost of our faith and our obedience to our Lord and king. There can be no such thing for us as someone else's people or someone else's children. If they are people, they are us. There are no people not made by our God. And so we go. We serve. We build. We feed. We clothe. We give drink. We visit. And we love. Pray for us this week as we live out the command to love one another as Christ loved us, as brothers and sisters, unconditionally.