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Thursday Coffee
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Anyone welcome to join us for coffee in Memorial Hall on Thursday mornings from 10:00 am. to 11:00 a.m. Sweets included.
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Bible Study is held after Coffee hr. every Thursday morning from 11:00 a.m. to noon in Memorial Hall. Anyone is welcome to join us.
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Adults Sunday School by Dr. Roger Simons
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01

THU
Thursday Coffee
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Anyone welcome to join us for coffee in Memorial Hall on Thursday mornings from 10:00 am. to 11:00 a.m. Sweets included.
Bible Study
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Bible Study is held after Coffee hr. every Thursday morning from 11:00 a.m. to noon in Memorial Hall. Anyone is welcome to join us.
AUG

04

SUN
Worship
8:45 AM
Sanctuary
Adults Sunday School
10:00 AM
Adults Sunday School by Dr. Roger Simons
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  • Meditation Garden - Spring 2019

 

JULY 2019

 

 

From the Pastor’s Desk

 

 

Abraham broke the law, crossing borders and trafficking his wife

Why do we forgive him so much more easily than migrants today?  by Karen González excerpted from The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong,  Herald Press © 2019

Most of us are not accustomed to thinking of Abraham as an immigrant, let alone a criminal one. However, Genesis introduces us to Abram (whose name will later change to Abraham) just as God is asking him to migrate to the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:1). In just a few verses the nomadic Abram finds himself amid a famine, which drives him to migrate again to find sustenance in what would become the preferred destination for the hungry: Egypt. “Abram went down toward Egypt to live as an immigrant since the famine was so severe in the land” (12:10, CEB).

The climate in the ancient world of the Near East fluctuated greatly, thanks to its location between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Desert. The semiarid land was unpredictable for those who depended on it to produce food, like the nomads who fill the pages of Genesis. But ancient Egypt had no such problems. The Nile and its fertile delta and riverbanks provided abundantly for inhabitants and drew small bands of immigrants like Abram and his family.

Abram does not have permission from the authorities to enter Egypt. But he and his family seek only to find sustenance and a livelihood. They do not intend harm to the people upon whose land they trespass.  Out of fear, Abram presents his wife Sarai—later known as Sarah—as his sister when they arrive in Egypt. She is beautiful and, apparently, desirable. Believing the Egyptians will kill him in order to have Sarah, he acts out of self-interest, using her to protect himself. “Tell them you are my sister so that they will treat me well for your sake, and I will survive because of you,” he says. Abram prefers to sacrifice Sarai’s well-being rather than suffer himself. And indeed, while Sarai is sent to the pharaoh’s household, Abram prospers: “Things went well for Abram because of her: he acquired flocks, cattle, male donkeys, men servants, women servants, female donkeys, and camels.”

 

In modern terms, we could say that Abram traffics his wife. He receives payment and grows wealthy from her sexual exploitation. He commits fraud by presenting her as his sister, a convenient half-truth. He coerces her into a situation with no way out. This is the very definition of human trafficking.

Sarai has no voice in this matter. She is doubly displaced, as both an immigrant and a victim of human trafficking. Notably, this will not be the last time Abram traffics his wife. In Genesis 20, after God makes a covenant with him and changes his name, Abraham enters the territory of the Philistines (also without authorization) and repeats these actions.

Most Christians forgive Abraham for his transgressions. We understand their placement within God’s larger story. We assume that this kind of thing must have happened all the time in the ancient Near East.

Yet many of us don’t extend that same consideration to unauthorized immigrants whose crime is crossing the US-Mexico border, a criminal misdemeanor. Women often tell their stories through tears, reluctant to speak of the sexual assault they experienced along the way. According to Amnesty International, more than 60 percent of immigrant women who cross the border into the United States are sexually assaulted on the journey.

It’s tempting to conclude that if immigrants to the United States broke the law by crossing the border, they must be prone to criminality—that we must be suspicious of them because they pose a danger to citizens. But research on the link between immigration and criminal behavior shows, over and over again, that immigrants are less likely than native-born Americans to commit serious crimes or be imprisoned.

I wonder if we value our human-made laws more than the human beings that they were designed to guide and protect. Immigration laws cannot love our immigrant neighbors. Only we, people, can do that. Laws can, however, protect immigrants from falling prey to those who see their vulnerability and seek to take advantage by victimizing them. When I consider the situation in which Sarah and Abraham found themselves, I wonder how laws might have provided protection and care for them too.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us  
Presbyterian Church of Bull Shoals
903 Walnut Ave.
P. O. Box 305
Bull Shoals, Arkansas 72619
Phone 870-445-4622
Regular Schedule  
Sunday
  • Morning Worship
    – 8:45 AM to 9:45 AM
  • Adult Sunday School
    – 9:00 AM
Monday
  • Office Hours Monday through Thursday
    – 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Thursday
  • Coffee in Memorial Hall - Open to public
    – 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Bible Study
    – 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Friday
  • Office Closed on Friday
Affiliations  
Announcements
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

July 1 - Faye Brackett

July 4 - Amy Johnson

July 16 - Ray Erlewine

July 18 - Ciera Haefer

July 23 - Dr. Roger Simons

July 30 - Vicky Bair

August 3 - Peni Lloyd

August 7 - Ed Chapman

August 20 - Bob Wiles

August 23 - Irene Bere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anniversaries

June 21 - Boyd & Faye Brackett

July 9 - Bill & Mary Kerr

No August Anniversaries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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