I try to avoid politics on this blog but sometimes it is unavoidable. News this week coming out of the White House is that our current administration is considering busing immigrants into sanctuary cities. Trump tweeted today:
Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only. The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!
This probably amounts to little more than a childish taunt. Setting aside the very well documented fact that Democrats are not advocating for “open borders,” the attempted dig towards a group of people or a city for having “open arms” should strike any follower of Jesus as unchristian. Christians should be the most welcoming people on earth because we ourselves have been welcomed with grace upon grace. Our adoption as heirs into a kingdom of which we were once alienated – based on no merit of our own – is a spiritual adoption to be sure, but one that Jesus insists should be reflected in how we welcome physical strangers both near and far.
Governments are not meant to be Christian. They have a purpose which is different from that of the Church, but sometimes (by the grace of God) those purposes overlap. Where the government fails to act justly – even giving preferential treatment to the poor, the marginalized, the stranger – the Church must and should be it’s conscience. This is one of those times.
And so it is that these sanctuary cities may have in the near future an opportunity to live out in radical ways the grace of God. Should Trump follow through with his threat, these cities will be inundated with people in need. Often, our greatest ideals sound great on paper but in reality would overwhelm and sink us. Who among us doesn’t give lip service to the goodness of Jesus’ command to turn the other cheek but when afforded an opportunity to practice it fall short of the glory of such an ideal? We all have been there. And without the power of prayer and the support of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we would fall often.
So it is that I want to offer up a prayer for sanctuary cities. This prayer is really for any city or church or person who determines they will have open arms extended towards the least of these – fellow children created in the image of God, the Father of every nation and tribe and tongue.
Most merciful God, we pray today for cities across this land – land which is not ours but Yours – which have felt called to become and remain cities of refuge. If the plans of some – plans meant to cause confusion and strife – come to pass, we pray that in your power these places would prosper. We pray that you would rise up in these cities men and women of faith who trust in a God who turns meager loaves and fish into abundance to supply multitudes. We pray that they would not succumb to a theology of scarcity but live into one of abundance. We pray that you would fortify them with wisdom, patience, and endurance to fight the good fight and not grow weary in doing good.
Father, we pray for those families being torn between political ideologies. These are mothers and fathers and children whom you know by name. Grant them every good gift, Lord. Do for them instead of us this day. Wherever they are planted we pray you would water the soil and produce abundant fruit. May the cities that welcome them prosper. May creativity flourish. May your favor shine upon them. May their fields increase. May the spirit of peace and love, which casts out all fear, abound. According to your word, give them every good thing.
Holy Spirit, raise up more cities like these. May the love and goodwill shown to your nomadic children serve as judgment against we who have closed the eyes of our hearts from seeing them as Your beloved. Stir up in Your church a revival where we will never again be known by our political party but by our love. May your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
We ask all of this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.