As we continue our focus on where did we see Jesus’ love, I would like to talk about where did we see Jesus this week? Many of you have seen the pictures of crying children as they are separated from their parents. I am going to stop here, to remind folks that some will see this blog as political. If you do so and stop reading, I am sorry, because I really want you to hear me out.
I think it is important that we have some Biblical foundation for how I see God in this situation. (See Matt. 25:34-40) for you see the Spirit of God is in us, all of us, we are sisters and brothers in Christ. When we hurt families by separating them from one another, we are causing pain to Christ. When we can give healing and refugee, food and comfort to those in need, we are doing so to Christ.
From the Old Testament (Lev. 19:33 & 34) through the New Testament (Mark 12:28-31), God calls upon us to be his instruments of love and compassion in the world. How this country is treating parents and their children on our southern border, has no indication in Scripture. None. Despite how some might use and manipulate God’s Word to make it endorse their point of view, (by the way the 2nd Commandments says something about that) we have ample evidence in Jesus Words and behavior that is quite the opposite.
I see God in the crying babies, the weeping mothers, and the distraught fathers. I see a nation that is struggling with its very soul, it both angers and frightens me.
I could quote many more Bible texts. I could show you in history, where this kind of behavior toward immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers are characteristics of nations and empires condemned as tyrannical. But because we are a democracy, we have a voice. We should use that voice and speak out to those in Congress and the president. Silence in the face of injustice is making us accomplices to crimes against our neighbors.
You may tell me, “Pastor, where do you get off telling me what to believe or do?” Good question. I have been called by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, here in Omaha Nebraska. I am called to be a proclaimer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel, Good News, does not let us off the hook on our responsibilities to one another as neighbors. No matter the color of our skin, what nation or culture we come out of, no matter gender, economic status or political affiliation, we have all been called to love one another, just as Jesus has loved us.
We are the love one another as ourselves kind of Christians. This is why we cannot ignore or be silent as we witness how the least of these, are being treated, even if God’s Word is used as an excuse to do so.
In this time, in our nation’s history, we have deep divisions that separate us. Therefore, no matter what is said, we can be accused of being overtly political. I gain no benefit from speaking out. As God’s servant, I cannot avoid what is taking place. There is no profit in being a prophet, (unless you are a tele-evangelist). In fact, this could cost the church, members, and money. I am no fool, there will be a reaction to what I have said. But I hope and pray, that some of you who read this, will take action and use their voice of citizenship, to help our neighbors and Christ Spirit who dwells in them. Amen!