Windrush and the Welcome of God
The government have recently made it harder to be an illegal immigrant living in the UK. Immigrants are often required to show their proof of citizenship.
This has meant that many from the ‘Windrush generation’ – legal citizens who immigrated from the Caribbean between the 50s and 70s – have received deportation notices.
They don’t have proof of citizenship as it was wrongly destroyed in 2010.
The Windrush case is clear-cut. As legal citizens, the government got it wrong. But what about illegal immigrants?
It’s a tricky question. But it’s helpful to remember who illegal immigrants are.
They’re people without a home – those who hope for a better life in a country where they have no legal right to be.
Which is who I used to be.
Because I rejected God I was barred from the heavenly country I longed for. I had no legal right to enter.
But God, in Christ, bore the legal curse and ‘burden’ of my exile, in order to welcome me into his kingdom (Galatians 3:13).
Strangers and Exiles
Writing about Old Testament believers reflecting the experience of Christians, the writer to the Hebrews says:
They were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:16)
In this world, we’re ‘foreigners and exiles’ (1 Peter 2:11). But we’re longing for a better country – a heavenly one where Christ will welcome us with open arms.
Many from the Windrush generation had documents destroyed. But citizens of heaven can never have their citizenship revoked.
Their names are written in the book of life (Philippians 4:3).
While there are no easy answers to immigration, our response to this issue - like all issues - should be informed by our welcome in Christ.