the one who had nowhere to lay his head,
no safe place,
no secure home,
no passport or visa,
no certified citizenship.
We gather around him in our safety, security, and well-being,
and fret about ‘illegal immigrants.’
We fret because they are not like us
and refuse our language.
We worry that there are so many of them
and their crossings do not stop.
We are unsettled because it is our tax
dollars that sustain them and provide services.
We feel the hype about closing borders and heavy fines,
because we imagine that our life is under threat.
And yet, as you know very well,
we, all of us–early or late–are immigrants
we are glad for cheap labor
and seasonal workers
who do tomatoes and apples and oranges
to our savoring delight.
And beyond that, even while we are beset by fears
and aware of pragmatic costs,
we know very well that you are the God
who welcomes strangers,
who loves aliens and protects sojourners.
As always, we feel the tension and the slippage
between the deep truth of our faith
and the easier settlements of our society.
We do not ask for an easy way out,
but for courage and honesty and faithfulness.
Give us ease in the presence of those unlike us;
give us generously amid demands of those in need,
help us to honor those who trespass
as you forgive our trespasses.
You are the God of all forgiveness.
By your gracious forgiveness transpose us
into agents of your will,
that our habits and inclinations may more closely
follow your majestic lead, that our lives may
joyously conform to your vision of a new world.
We pray in the name of your holy Son, even Jesus.”
“He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice.
He shows love to the foreigners living among you
and gives them food and clothing.”
- Is your God one “who welcomes strangers, who loves aliens, and protects sojourners?” Has God welcomed you in this way?
- How, do you suppose, God “gave food and clothing” to foreigners living among Israel (Dt. 18) or ensured “that orphans and widows receive justice?”
- Helping those in need can be a discomforting, even dangerous act. It’s also not always easy to know how to help. As one who belongs to God, how can you be an “agent of his will”, following God’s majestic lead?
God of the helpless–help me follow your majestic lead.
For More: Prayers for A Privileged People by Walter Brueggemann (2010)
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. Thanks so much for following and sharing my blog! – Bill