Like many of you, I have been saddened by the reports of families being separated at the border, and I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting news accounts and social media comments. It can be paralyzing, and it can be hard to know what to do.
Many public figures from conservatives like Franklin Graham, to a variety of politicians from all parties, have stated that separating children from parents is wrong and is not biblical. I agree with that and I’m encouraged by reports this morning that the President will sign an order to end the practice. I hope that happens.
At BelPres we have taught that there are legitimate differences of opinion about what US Immigration law should be, and there are people of good will on all sides of this issue. We have also taught that the Bible is clear that we are to treat the immigrant and foreigner in our midst with justice, mercy, and compassion (Exodus 12:49, Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33-34, Leviticus 24:22; Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Jeremiah 7:5-7; Jeremiah 22:3-5; Ezekiel 47:21-22; Matthew 25:31-46; Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:1-2, to name a few).
Therefore, I’d invite us all to pray for families that have been separated, and pray for wisdom, mercy, and justice for all elected leaders to find a fair and just permanent resolution to the problem. We can also continue to hold politicians from both parties accountable to argue less and work together to find permanent solutions. For further information from a non-partisan Christian source, we can also go to worldrelief.org.
Lord Jesus, we pray that you give all of us and our leaders wisdom to find a solution that reflects your heart for all people, and we pray for your strength for separated families.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them,“”Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:8-14
Whereas most kids love Christmas day, my kids don’t. It’s an unexpected, and in many ways wonderful, result of a decision my wife and I made 15 years ago. When we first arrived at BelPres, we decided that in December I would dramatically reduce the number of evening meetings I attended to allow for more family time during the Christmas season. That decision led to the question, what should
we do with the extra time? We decided we would create a variety of activities that we would do every year – drive around looking at Christmas lights, Snowflake Lane, take my daughters to the Nutcracker (my son was nevern interested in that one), drink hot chocolate and eat Christmas cookies by the fire while watching Christmas movies. At the time my kids were toddlers, but as they grew we added other traditions like a day spent in downtown Seattle to shop, look at the Gingerbread house display, and visit the Pike Place Market.
We are in the middle of a major shift in our culture and things around us are changing almost daily. As I look at where we have come from and where God is taking us, I can’t help but ask, “God, how can we continue to get on board with You as You call us to partnership to bring revival?” In the light of this culture shift we as a staff have been working with session to shape our vision through the year 2020. (more…)