Welcome the little children…
June 28, 2018
I know what it’s like to be abandoned as a child. I know what it’s like to be separated from a mother at birth. I know what it’s like to go through life feeling less than, not worthy, wondering why. And I was one of the lucky ones adopted as a child to young to really remember. My consciousness may not remember, but deep in my heart and soul the wounds live on.
I mention this because what’s happening at our boarders is particularly painful for me as it stirs up in me the fear of abandonment these children and families must be feeling. What if I wasn’t one of the lucky ones and got lost in the system.
“It is not the Christian way, it is not the American way to separate children from their parents at the boarders of this country.” Bishop Michael B. Curry
As Christians each of us must ask ourselves: “do I listen to the voices of hate and fear or the gospel voice of love, acceptance and the full inclusion of all peoples.” “Do I see the world through the lens of my baptismal covenant or my nationality. And if the answer is my baptismal covenant then am I prepared to go where it may lead me?
Jesus, you say “welcome the little children” and “blessed are the poor” and “what we do to the most vulnerable we do to you.” You tell us that we will be judged not on whether we said, “Lord, Lord,” not on if we tithed or attended worship or sang your praises, but on if we were compassionate and cared for the sick, the weak, the prisoner, the stranger, the children, the least of these our brothers and sisters.
We ask forgiveness even as we confess that we are still engaged in practices that are abhorrent. Children are being forcibly taken from their parents. People fleeing abuse are being further abused in our name. Youth who crossed our borders unaccompanied are being incarcerated. How easily we forget that chldren are children unaccompanied or not. Those brought here years and years ago remain in a state of anxious waiting as our elected leaders use their fate as a bargaining chip.
We plead with you, Lord Christ, not for mercy for ourselves, but for relief for those in the throes of our broken immigration system. We plead with you, Lord Christ, for wisdom to know what to do to stop these horrendous practices. We plead with you, Lord Christ, that you would soften our hearts, embolden our witness, loosen our tongues to proclaim your gospel word of love and welcome in word and deed. We plead with you, Lord Christ, to send the Holy Spirit with disruptive wind that blows away our complacency and moves us closer to those in greatest need of an advocate. We plead with you, Lord Christ, to send the flames of the Holy Spirit to burn away our self-centeredness and sin so that we might instead be the light of the world you call us to be.
Lord of all, who welcomes the little children, hold them close until they are reunited with their families. Lord Jesus, who came to this earth poor, a refugee who fled with his family to escape violence, help us to see you in each other, especially in those who right this moment are on the run, looking for safety. Lord Christ, who goes after the lost sheep and brings them safely home, make of us good shepherds, too.
Mark 12:34 “You’re almost there, right on the border of God’s kingdom.”