Loving Our Neighbor

If God calls us to love our neighbor, how do we apply that command to vulnerable people groups? The concept of loving our neighbor as ourselves when it comes to vulnerable people groups is applicable in many contexts, but in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, this blog post will explore what it means under the context of the mass migrations of Latin Americans to the U.S. border. While the politics surrounding this issue are controversial and divisive, the church body can be united under God’s commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. The ways this command can be applied are partnering with God’s heart through education and advocacy.

To partner with God’s heart, we can ask for God’s perspective and compassion. When our motivations align with compassion rather than a political agenda, it becomes clear that our responsibility as Christians has always been to people and not politics. So, how do we serve and minister to the vulnerable people groups God calls us to care for with compassion?

Here is an example of how Jesus showed compassion to others, and his command to his disciples when it comes to those in need.

Matthew 9:35-38
  • “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

In these verses, there is an invitation for us to be moved to compassion for those who are in need of help. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”. Through partnering with God’s compassion, we can carry the burdens of those at the border by educating ourselves on the reality of what life is like for them. Finding good sources with which to educate ourselves is important, and though most sources have inherent political bias, here are some reliable ones which could be helpful. 
  • Research findings from the United States Congress in this article explain common reasons why Latin Americans are migrating from their countries to the United States. These reasons include natural disasters (drought, food insecurity), widespread poverty and crime, and government corruption.

  • This article by Associated Press gives context for what conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border are currently like, and walks through the shifts in policy from the previous Trump administration to the current Biden administration. It is evident that politics and policy regarding mass migrations to the U.S. border are diverse and change under every presidential administration, which is why unifying under the consistency of the Lord’s leadership and perspective rather than political affiliation is what the church is called to do.

In addition to educating ourselves on the burdens of others, we can work with and/or support organizations who advocate for those who are vulnerable. Wesley is partnering with an organization called Border Perspective that facilitates service-learning trips to the U.S.-Mexico border. These trips are meant to educate participants on the reality of what the border and the people there are like, meet their needs through providing resources and ministry, and to guide the church and people of faith in responding to issues that are complex and highly political. Wesley is taking a mission trip team to the border with Border Perspective this spring break, so if you are interested in learning more about this issue or want to be more involved, you can sign up to go on the trip with this link!

While it is important to celebrate the Hispanic community during Hispanic heritage month for their culture, it is also important to honor the struggles members of the Hispanic community face. Hopefully by doing so, we are more connected to other members of the body of Christ because we know their burdens and are moved by compassion to support them under the Lord’s leadership.

Author | Anna DiCosty





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