“The Gospel has no borders.”
A friend told me that before. To Every Tribe’s headquarters are positioned just 20 miles North of the Mexico border. So, as our Missionary Trainees spread to the far regions of the world (four different countries to assist our Field-Based Missionaries) this week for their Spring Trips, I’m reminded again of how different borders are from each other.
Take my last year’s trip to Canada for example. Here in Texas, my driver picked me up in shorts and a t-shirt. Several hours later, in the midwest, my next driver picked me up in a heavy winter storm jacket! We drove to the border of Canada the days that followed.
From Mexico to America to Canada, so many resources don’t work across borders. Sandals are great for warm weather. Snow boots are great for the cold. The gas stations on the Southern border sell made-to-order tacos. The gas stations on the Northern border sell live fishing bait and hand warmers.
Borders usually serve a major objective: to divide and distinguish. They are there to make a barrier. To each side, it preaches to it’s own, “The land on the other side is NOT yours!” As soon as we cross a border (a man-made line) you are to submit to the laws of the land in which you are now located. What was legal there is now illegal here. What is culturally appropriate here may not be appropriate there. Things you may say to be funny on the other side might get you killed if said on this side.
I’m used to the cold, growing up in Chicago. But this much further north (Ontario, Canada) is COLD. I was naive when we hit the border of Canada. So naive I told my wife that it wasn’t that much different than Chicago! But I was dead wrong. -40F is, in fact, different from 10F degrees. My beard even gets frozen from my breath.
My main point here is that borders separate and distinguish differences. Living near Mexico is radically different than living in Mexico, and living near Canada is radically different than living in Canada.
But, one thing that remains the same is the human condition. Man can still love man. And man still has it in his heart to murder his fellow man. Love, hatred, laughter, endurance, pain, suffering, joy, depression, and excitement exist in every culture. Borders don’t separate those things. The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not have a line of separation. It’s the heralding newspaper title which translates into every language. On this side of the border, you are a sinner. On that side of the border, you are a sinner. On this side of the border there is mercy. On that side of the border there is mercy. The gospel truly does have no borders.