Immigration Study Guide
The sermon will be delivered May 13 at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church.
According to the Pew HispanicCenter, immigration from Mexico has stalled—even retreated—over the last few years: “The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and broader economic conditions in Mexico.”
What factors have led to the decline?
States such as Alabama and Arizona have installed harsh laws aimed at enforcing immigration (Arizona’s is before the Supreme Court now). Why have religious groups, including United Methodists, been opposed to them? What are the theological/moral issues of immigration?
Why does the Bible—particularly the Old Testament—make such an emphasis on welcoming the stranger? Why are the Israelites told over and over again to remember they were slaves in Egypt?
Jesus, from the cross, looks upon his mother and the “beloved disciple.” “Here is your mother. Here is your son.” His concern is not just for his mother. What does Jesus create by bringing these two together—and what are the implications for the church with respect to immigration?