This week’s article is written by Arnie Saaf, a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road.
Last Sunday, our class was studying the Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 47, where he tells the Israelites that God would provide them land as their inheritance. This was good news for them because they were in exile in Babylon, where they owned no property. This inheritance gave them hope. He even outlined the boundaries that defined the land that was to be divided equally among the tribes (except the tribe of Joseph, which was to inherit two portions). But boundaries can create exclusiveness. A nation can decide who could come in and settle. But God’s message contained the following provisions as stated in verses 22 and 23: “When you distribute the land as an inheritance, the immigrants who reside with you and raise families among you are considered full citizens along with the Israelites. They will receive an inheritance along with you among the tribes of Israel. You will assign immigrants’ inheritance with the tribe with whom they reside. This is what the Lord says.” (CEB) It is interesting to see how immigrants were to share equally and as full citizens.
Jesus gave us an inheritance as well. He gave us the Holy Spirit to serve as our guide, our counselor, and as God’s communication link with each and everyone that takes up residency in his creation. There are no borders … there is no exclusivity. Thanks be to God.