Yesterday was a long day, but not without satisfactions. A highlight was dropping in on a class of the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology here at Concordia Seminary. EIIT’s brochure says it “offers a specialized program leading to ordination for men engaged in pastoral missionary contexts in ethnic immigrant and urban cultures in North America.” These are first generation immigrants to America who are preparing to share Christ in the urban settings they now call home.
I invited questions and share one. “Today we have people who are on the margins. As time passes, the people on the margins are increasingly moving into the center of American life. What do you think that will mean?” My answer was realistic, “Increasing friction.” You can see it in the presidential campaign, longtime majorities feeling threatened. Troubled relationships are the reason congregational life in Jesus Christ is so important for time and for eternity. Members of the Body of Christ strive to see all people with the love God brings us in Jesus.
St. Paul wrote that the Gospel of grace broke down hostility between Jews and Gentiles. Jesus Christ “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 making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Ephesians 2:14-16).
If your faith life could use a charge, visit a congregation of immigrants who follow Jesus. Together we are members of the Body of Christ!