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Our Naturalization Certificate

Pastor Eduardo Davila tells this story:

I have here an extremely important document. We all have important documents: a marriage certificate, the title to your car, your birth certificate. This one is my naturalization certificate.

My family and I came to the United States as political asylees, leaving the remnants of a country ravaged by war and destructive socialism that did not deliver on its promises. When we came, we had Nicaraguan passports. We were able to come to the US, but we were not given full citizenship. We were not protected by the US. We were not allowed to vote.

But all that changed in 2008, when we walked into an office in Miami, took a few tests, and swore an oath of allegiance to the United States. We were granted full permanent citizenship status. We were fully in.

During the whole process, one aspect that stuck with me was realizing the seriousness of a statement that then-President Bush wrote: “We are united not by race or culture but the ideals of democracy, justice, and liberty.” Beautiful.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:19 that "Now you are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family." Praise God! When you come to Christ, you are no longer a stranger or foreigner. You have the full blessing and protection of the kingdom of Christ. You are no longer undocumented. You no longer need to fret over where you belong or how to survive.

At baptism, you renounced your old citizenship and swore allegiance to Jesus, and you were given a naturalization certificate. You are now part of the new humanity: you are no longer strangers and foreigners. Once a citizen of a different kingdom, your ruler was your vices, addictions, and fears. Your ruler was the prince of this world. That is what you left behind when you were baptized and chose to submit yourself to Jesus as your new King.


Rev. Eduardo Davila, Sermon: “The Church as a New Humanity,” SoundCloud.com (2-10-20)

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