Jesus was not American. He wasn’t white and he didn’t speak English. He didn’t praise American democracy, our political system or our Flag. He never sang the Star - Spangled Banner and he never recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jesus was not American; he was a dark skinned Middle Eastern man who talked a lot about Loving everybody.
As the nations of the world continue to become literal neighbors I wonder how Americans might respond if Jesus was wandering around our neighborhoods today.
Would we see his darker skin, hear his accent and treat him with suspicion? Would we befriend him to help him learn English or would we put a bumper sticker on our car that reads ‘learn our language or leave’?
If Jesus walked the streets of America today how many people would think he was a terrorist?
According to one statistic there are over 1 million immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa living in the United States. In many ways, these neighbors have a lot more in common with Jesus than most Americans.
But there are also growing fears about the rising number of Middle Easterners who live in the US. These fears are being highlighted as religious and political leaders make radical comments on immigration and receive an outpouring of support.
Many Americans are becoming captivated by fear, misunderstanding and misinformation about people like Jesus who are from the Middle East.
It’s tough when we are inundated by well-spoken individuals who claim Americans and Middle Easterners are forever enemies. Especially if we hear that message preached on Sundays.
But Jesus himself saw things very differently. He shared a message of Loving everybody, including the people who might see him today and just think he was a terrorist.