Where to Begin

Thanks be to God! For all the government workers and their families who will, hopefully, soon get their deeply deserved paychecks, we give thanks. For those of us who are constantly on the look out for what’s next on the breaking news horizon, this is a good place to start today: giving thanks to God. Let us first be thankful, then ask what is next.

Many of us called for prayer to reopen the government and legions of people lifted their prayers for lawmakers. Prayer is mysterious and moves in miraculous ways that we can never fully know or understand. But I believe that it was partly the work of prayer that helped some lawmakers stand firm and others step up against party loyalty. Prayer changes national narratives and directions. I believe that.

But Donald Trump has made his campaign, his presidency, his central message, and his vision for America about one thing: his wall.

What Trump’s wall is entirely about is his racially divisive message that appeals to his angry and fearful white base. The wall says we must be afraid of non-white people coming to America and this will keep them out of “our” country. The wall is just a symbol, a monument, a testimony to the worst of American white racism, fear, and hatred.

It is time for spiritual preparation for the crisis that is already here — especially for immigrants and people of color. It is a time for prayer and fasting and spiritual vigilance. We must undergird ourselves and our congregations for active and courageous responses — not from the left or the right, but from those who first and foremost are followers of Jesus. Stay tuned.