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The Resistance Prays

November 18, 2018
By Rev. Darcie Jones

Today's Top Story
CNN reports that yesterday, President Trump declared that it would be a “good time” for a partial government shutdown if demands for his border wall were not met. Trump is seeking at least $5 billion dollars of funding this year for the wall. 

Meanwhile, The Caller has a dispatch from the building of the border wall in the Rio Grande Valley. The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville is fighting the federal government’s efforts to survey their mission’s land which seems to be the beginning steps of the government seizing a portion of the land through eminent domain in order to build the border wall.  
"Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit."

- Ephesians 2:11-18
Breaking Down Walls
Since even before Biblical times, people have been separating themselves into us vs. them categories. It is human nature to decide who is in and who is out. We see this bit of human nature throughout scripture. Literal and figurative walls are built as one group decides they want to “protect” themselves from another group. 

But, Paul calls Jesus’ followers to act differently. In fact, one only has to scan through his letter to Ephesus (Ephesians) to see the message repeated over and over again. We are to tear down walls and break down the barriers! There is no us and them. There is only we. 

President Trump continues to push his agenda of fear, holding the government hostage, until his divisive demands are met. He is bargaining with people’s lives and livelihoods - immigrants and refugees seeking a better life, government employees who will struggle to make ends meet while out of work, the many other vulnerable populations who rely on federal assistance, and military personnel who are deployed to the border. While Trump is calling for more walls, we are calling for more unity. 

It is through Christ that we do not fear other groups of people, but we become one with them. The barriers are destroyed. The dividing wall of hostility crumbles. We are united through Christ. 
Sign the petition in support of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville as they seek to maintain their religious freedom and live out the church’s calling to tear down barriers.
God of All, grant us courage instead of fear. Help us to tear down that which does not foster love and connection with our fellow humans. Give wisdom and strength to the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville as they seek to continue to spread their arms wide in welcome to all. Amen. 
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