Christmas and the Fast for Immigration Reform: “It Ain't Over Until God Says It's Done”
Dec 13, 2013 by M. Daniel Carroll R. | 0 Comments
Today I received an email from Jim Wallis’ organization, Sojourners, that had a wonderful testimony from Jim Wallis himself. The title of the blog was “Immigration Reform: It Ain't Over Until God Says It's Done”, a title that he explains that he had taken from the South African theologian Allen Boesak. He applies this to the efforts at immigration reform that seemed to have stalled for the moment, both the efforts in general as well as something that has been going on in Washington since mid-November.
In a tent set up on the National Mall, various immigration reform leaders, including many faith leaders, launched on November 12 what they are calling “Fast for Families” (go to the website: http://fast4families.org/). The goal is to dramatically bring attention to the need to work toward comprehensive immigration reform, especially for those families that live under the threat of deportation.
The fast on the National Mall ends Friday, December 12th, when the Congress fall session ends. Beginning in January, though, activities will continue around the country – both by groups and individuals. The hope is that this fast in Washington, and others around the country, will bring attention to the plight of these families and underscore that immigration reform is a moral issue. As Wallis says on the blog: “This has never been a hunger strike, but rather a movement going deeper by using the spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayer to take us all to a deeper place.”
Wallis also connects the fast to the Advent season. He points out that Advent is a time of “expectant, hopeful waiting” – in this case, it grounds the sure conviction that immigration reform lies ahead. I would add to that idea that there is much more wrapped up in this Advent/Christmas connection to immigration reform. I mention two:
Jesus came into the world as a helpless baby and soon after fled with his family to Egypt as refugees – Jesus knows what it is like to live as a foreigner in another land. Our Savior can resonate with the immigrants among us literally in a personal way.
Jesus came to serve the vulnerable, and he calls his disciples to do the same. As we grow in our faith, we learn how to be compassionate towards a particular vulnerable population, the immigrants among us.
May these days be a time of reflecting on the precious gift of our Savior and on all that his coming calls us to do and be.