“The story of the Bible cannot be told without the reality of migration informing the text of Scripture. Every book in the canon intersects with the experience of a migrant people to whom God has revealed His word and will.” Rev. Sammy Alfaro, The Church and Migration: A Theological Vision for the People of God.
In the second part of my conversation with Daniel Montanez, we continue to trace the history of migration in the Bible. In the previous episode, we spoke about creation, the creation mandate, and the fall and this week we begin with the founding patriarch of our faith, Abraham.
God called Abraham to leave his land and go to an unknown place. The call to move formed a crucial part of the birthing of the nation of Israel. Abraham’s descendants too were wanderers.
Migration played an important and necessary role in the growth of the early church and the spread of the gospel. We also touched upon the sin of xenophobia, the fear of strangers or foreigners. Jesus calls us to practice xenophilia, which is the love of foreigners.
Takeaways from this episode:
- You cannot read the Old Testament without noticing how the story of God’s people intersects with migration.
- This statement made by Daniel in the episode stood out to me, “God is present with people in the midst of their migratory experiences.”
- Acts 8:1 reveals that members of the early church were forced to scatter because of persection essentially becoming refugees or asylum seekers.
About Daniel Montanez
Daniel Montañez is a Ph.D. student at Boston University in theology, ethics, and philosophy. He is an adjunct instructor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Pentecostal Theological Seminary. He is also the founder and director of Mygration Christian Conference and the Migration Crisis Initiative for the Church of God. He is the co-editor of The Church and Migration: A Theological Vision for the People of God.” He lives in Boston, MA, with his wife.
An immigrant from India who has lived in seven cities across the U.S. in fourteen years, Mabel navigates between cultures, feeling at home everywhere and nowhere. In her first book, Far from Home: Discovering Your Identity as Foreigners on Earth, Mabel draws from her personal experience as an immigrant and examines the lives of biblical heroes to shed light on how we can find purpose and joy as sojourners on earth.
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