Response Concerning the Executive Order on Refugees and Immigrants

This is what was shared at worship at Good Shepherd during the announcements this morning regarding the executive order on refugees and immigrants. Our pastor offered the opening statement and then members of our social justice committee stood up from their seats in the congregation to share the readings. The sermon touched on these issues as well. That will be shared shortly.

Friends in Christ, we can and should disagree about a number of political issues but we cannot be silent in the face of discrimination and hatred, especially when it is being done in our name as American Christians. This weekend Muslims seeking to enter the US, including refugees fleeing persecution are being detained at airports and banned from entering the country. Our faith compels us to speak and act.

1) from Leviticus 19:33-34: “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

2) from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: “As people of faith we do not stand for welcome on the condition that refugees are Christian, we stand for welcome because we are Christian.”

3) from presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Elizabeth Eaton: “As Lutherans, many of our ancestors faced the pain of having to flee our homes and the joy of being welcomed in new communities across the United States. As we have done throughout history, I urge our elected officials to honor our biblical witness as well as the best of our nation’s traditions of refuge and stand firmly against any policies that result in scaling back the refugee resettlement program.”

4) from Jesus in Matthew 25: 34-20: “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”