This is a sensitive subject, especially these days. But I think words matter. Particularly the words that come out of the mouths of followers of Jesus. Our baptismal vow calls on us to respect the dignity and worth of every human being.

Whatever position one takes on the admittedly controversial issue of immigration – and very good people sincerely disagree – I think it behooves Christians to avoid referring to people as “illegal immigrants” or just “illegals”. There simply is no such thing as an illegal human being. I would like to suggest referring to people in such circumstances as “undocumented”, “people here illegally” or something along those lines. That way, we do acknowledge a law has been broken but without diminishing the inestimable value of every precious person for whom Jesus gave His life.

This article is not prompted by any conversation or interaction at St. Philip’s. We have a wonderfully caring, sensitive and affirming group of people at church! I’m simply attempting to be proactive.

May the words of my mouth be always acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Amen.