A word from Pastor Andrew on the Southern Border Crisis

Friends,

The crisis facing the United States at the southern border is not something that is just a political or societal issue. Indeed it is a moral urgency that is crying out for justice, mercy, and action. We may ask ourselves, “why should I care,” and “what can I do?”

The United Methodist Church stands committed to the rights of migrants, fellow human beings seeking safety and justice, acknowledging that many factors contribute to persons needing to engage in migration. Our biblical mandate to love our neighbor (Mark 12:30-31 CEB) challenges us to recognize that our neighbor is all those in need in the world. The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37 CEB) shows us that this concept of justice, mercy, love, and compassion was central to Jesus’ mission and ministry. Think this parable doesn’t speak to our time and this situation? I offer you this modern update, http://www.allanbevere.com/2019/06/the-parable-of-good-samaritan-for-today.html?fbclid=IwAR39NLZTBDaoocY3H32ZRwmP_uOwkyC6Th3QrwQdHIYiGS72fskm5xSlYmQ . If we operate in a foundation of empathy and compassion, placing ourselves in the shoes of those who are migrants, how can we stand by silently and idly as those who come seeking justice and safety are placed in cages and separated from one another. Christ calls us to remember that “as you do to the least of these, so you do to me” (Matthew 25:31-46 CEB). We are all one in the body of Christ, and to ignore part of the body because we perceive that they are different than us is to ignore part of ourselves.

Here is an article I encourage you to read if you still are unsure if this is truly a problem: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/migrant-children-border-soap.html?fbclid=IwAR25nvode0tzYXgs9EQZUQPWHTNUt1C-DE076nIJ2dwJ2N_Fc3yusy5fbfI

Friends, if we offer our lofty prayers but are led not to action are we truly open to the power and guidance of the spirit? Yesterday in our congregation we sang the hymn “O Young and Fearless Prophet” (444 UMH) the lyrics of which I offer to you now.

“O young and fearless Prophet of ancient Galilee, thy life is still a summons to serve humanity; to make our thoughts and actions less prone to please the crowd, to stand with humble courage for truth with hearts uncowed.

We marvel at the purpose that held thee to thy course while ever on the hilltop before thee loomed the cross; thy steadfast face set forward where love and duty shone, while we betray so quickly and leave thee there alone.

O help us stand unswerving against war’s bloody way, where hate and lust and falsehood hold back Christ’s holy sway; forbid false love of country that blind us to his call, who lifts above the nations the unity of all.

Stir up in us a protest against our greed for wealth, while others starve and hunger and plead for work and health; where homes with little children cry out for lack of bread, who live their years sore burdened beneath a gloomy dread.

O young and fearless Prophet, we need thy presence here, amid our pride and glory to see thy face appear; once more to hear thy challenge above our noisy day, again to lead us forward along God’s holy way.”

United Methodist Hymnal, 1989.  Words: S. Ralph Harlow, 1931. Music: John B. Dykes, 1872.

God calls us to be the change we wish to see in the world. To live out our calling to be a people of love and the Lord. To not stand idly by why our fellow humans suffer and die, but to see past the falsehoods concocted to justify these atrocities.

What can we do?

Call your representatives and senators in congress urging them to act. Unsure who they are or how to get ahold of them, use these links.

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm

Prepare yourself to take on some of these children if the need arises. Don’t simply call for action and not be willing to put yourself in the game, instead prepare yourself to be willing to get in the game directly by offering and getting ready to host a child or children in need.

Find other opportunities and potential steps to take at this link as well:

If you’re desiring to spend time in prayer and discernment around this information and call please feel free to use these following prayer prepared by me.

Prayer:

Lord of us all, you are yourself a migrant among us and you were a refugee in Egypt fleeing terror and oppression. You came to show us a better way, and we sought to reject you. We persecuted you and placed our own interests and desires above your will O God. Help us to recognize you in all persons. Help us to remember that all persons are of sacred worth. You challenge us to see things from the perspective of other persons, to utilize the gifts of empathy and compassion that you gave to us. Guide us Lord, to recognize you in all who are in need. To hear and answer your call to love our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.

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