INSTRUCTIONS: Spark conversations about biblical truth by discussing the “News Nugget” below. Bring it up in conversation, as a discussion-starter at the beginning of your gathering, as a small-group discussion-starter, or as part of a Bible study. Add any additional information and new developments. Then discuss the event or story through the lens of one or more biblical themes. You can even send these discussion-starters to your teenagers as catalysts for conversations with friends and family.
News Nugget: An undocumented immigrant has taken sanctuary in a Denver church to avoid being sent to Mexico. Jeanette Vizguerra, a mother of four who came to the United States 20 years ago, sought refuge in the place of worship rather than attend an immigration appointment. Because Vizguerra had pled guilty to using a fake ID to obtain work, she’s at risk of being deported—even though she applied for a visa as an abuse victim. “This is sacred and faithful work,” says the Rev. Mike Morran, pastor of the church that welcomed Vizguerra. “We know Jeanette to be an honorable human being.” Critics say shielding undocumented immigrants from federal authorities is against the law. “These church leaders could be placing their parish at risk for prosecution and fines,” says Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Themes to Explore:
- Providing Sanctuary (see Psalm 91)
- Our Responsibility to the Gospel (see Luke 10:25-37)
- Our Responsibility to the Law (see Romans 13:1-5)
- How do you feel about churches getting involved with resisting immigration enforcement? If a person is in the country illegally, are there extenuating circumstances that make it okay for that person to stay? If so, what are they, and why do they matter? If not, why not?
- In today’s society, are there limits to Jesus’ command to love our neighbors? If so, what are they? If not, why not? And how do you define exactly what “love” requires?
- Are Christians obligated to obey earthly authorities even when they disagree with them? even when their directives contradict the Bible? Explain. How can followers of Jesus balance their loyalty to the Gospel and to earthly laws?