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The Resistance Prays

December 26, 2018
By Rev. Holly Clark-Porter

Today's Top Story
"Migrant boy dies in U.S. custody; Trump vows shutdown will last until border wall is funded" - via the Washington Post
Scripture 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all humanity.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.   
- John 1:1-5
Subject

I woke up this morning after a day of gifts, decadent food, and singing hymns about the Christ-child to find all my news sites singing a completely different song about another immigrant child - Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala who died while in U.S. custody.

Felipe’s death is more than tragic; his death points to darkness, to bad news all around us. The bad news is that the Customs and Boarder Patrol (CBP) is blaming everyone but themselves, a habit that we see daily under the Trump administration. We’ve watched as Trump childishly insists that the government shutdown is everyone’s fault but his.

Following in Trump’s footsteps, CBP takes extra care to point the finger at anyone but themselves for this child’s death. Placing blame on others means they never have to reform or find new solutions. Instead, they place blame on the hospital, the situation, and worse, the father.

It's inferred that the hospital was negligent - and while that is a tempting solution, we must look deeper. Our hospitals, especially at the border, are underfunded, overcrowded, and understaffed. Among other missed priorities, why has our government continued to squelch prison reform, paying for-profit prisons to wreak havoc on our people and communities instead of putting money and care into hospitals and health care?

And then to place blame on the father! This father thought his child had a cold, because that’s what professionals told him. It is difficult for parents who do have privileges this man didn’t have to take a child to the hospital after already being told it’s just a cold. I can’t imagine the predicament this father was in. Scared and exhausted, this father lost his son because the United States would prefer to make a bad guy out of a migrant than make an enemy out of poorly hidden structures of greed and bribery.

Before I make you read fifty pages of my anger and grief, I will leave you with this. Jesus was born to be the Light. On days like Christmas, it is easy and wonderful to see nothing but candles of light while singing 'Silent Night.' But Jesus’s birth does more than flicker a flame of Good News. It implores us to also see the darkness.

Act
Check out this post and watch even just a few of these videos. They help us see that it is easy to simply point the blame at the first layer like CBP did. Instead, we must peel back layers before placing blame and see the root cause of bad news.
Pray
God, who took on flesh and who sees the layers we hide behind, be with us as we learn, grow, and analyze the world around us. Show us how to react with hope even amidst our confusion and anger at a government who just doesn’t seem to have any compassion. Be with us in our manger scenes that are crowded with fear and smelly with greed and corruption, and reveal to us a savior as we find ourselves led to speak out, to stand up, and to love the bad news into the Good News. Emmanuel with us: Amen.
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