Samuel Adams, called the Father of the Revolution by Thomas Jefferson, is known more for a beer company than a Founding Father. A deeper look of his life, however, and one begins to realize the Revolution may not have taken place without his years of pushing the colonist to understand the importance of their own freedoms which were not fully realized under English rule.
In 1772, Adams wrote that all men have a right, "In cases of intollerable Oppression, Civil or Religious, to leave the Society they belong to, and enter into another."
Here was the patriot, who perhaps more than any other, so clearly melded his Christian faith and his fervor for independence from England. Here was the man, when Hancock and Jefferson were skeptical of succession, who continued to push forward.
What if we too, as people passionate about the ways of Jesus, actually hold our faith as the primary reason why immigration reform must happen? What if we push our politician, call them out, and again remind them of the biblical story of God with his people. Indeed, the stranger in the land is to be embraced. It is not about 'illegal' or 'legal' whether men and women have God given rights to life and liberty. This is a right given to us a humans created in the image of a Creator. It is past time for followers of Jesus to stand up on this issue in unity.
Overheard at a recent gathering on this issue of immigration, one local and connected business person stated, "What does an elected official or a businessman have to gain by supporting immigration reform?" A response by another bystander was something along the lines, "Because they are followers of Jesus." Indeed, we can allow ourselves to not chase after immigration reform. After all, we're already legal Americans. We have nothing at stake. Or perhaps we have everything at state if our public witness is no witness to the gospel story. Either we believe the God of the creation resides among his people and calls us to justice and kindness or we believe an entirely different story.
This coming Tuesday, February 18 at 3 p.m., there is a significant gathering taking place at City on a Hill in Zeeland. Find the time and courage to voice your hope for immigration reform. Local leaders will be present, and together, those of us with faith can truly stand for what is right. It is time regardless of what D.C. is telling us. It is time to embody the faith we so proclaim.