September Prayer Partner: The Imago Dei on a Bus
In the past month, many migrants – largely individuals from countries like Venezuela and Cuba who have been allowed by the federal government to enter the U.S. while awaiting court hearings to determine if they qualify for asylum – have been bused from border states to cities like Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago. Governors and mayors of various states are squabbling over the transportation.
The implication of much of the media coverage is that these people are a burden, or maybe even a threat, to be inflicted upon those with a different political ideology. Certainly, they’re being treated as political pawns.
But as Christians, we have a different perspective: each of these individuals is a human being, made in the image of God with inherent dignity and potential. They are neighbors who have endured profound suffering – fleeing authoritarian regimes and/or crushing poverty and having endured a long journey to seek safety – whom we are commanded to love. Many are our sisters and brothers in Christ who are relying on prayer to sustain them and are hopeful to find a church to join in God’s mission as they rebuild their lives. Others might never have encountered the hope of the gospel, and will form their views of Jesus based in part on the rhetoric that leaders who profess to be followers of Jesus use to describe them.
My prayer is that the Church in the U.S. – in Texas and New York, Arizona and D.C., Florida and Illinois, and everywhere in between – would affirm the dignity of each of these individuals. Their human dignity doesn’t necessarily tell us how each asylum request should be adjudicated by our governing authorities, but it does mean we must not view or talk about them in ways that objectify or slander them.
We’ll have our regular monthly Evangelical Immigration Table prayer time over Zoom next Monday, September 19, at 4 PM ET/3 PM CT/2 PM MT/1 PM PT over Zoom – you can use this link to join or click here to add it to your calendar.
Whether with us next Monday or on your own or with your own small group, I’d encourage you to pray:
- That asylum seekers and other migrants who come seeking safety would find protection along the way and as they arrive
- That the Church would lead our nation in recognizing and affirming the dignity of all people, including these asylum seekers
- For peace and justice in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and other countries that so many are fleeing in recent days, so that individuals would not feel the need to leave their homelands under duress
- For governing authorities – mayors, governors, the president and Congress – that they too would recognize the Image of God in each person and pursue policies that honor that image
Matthew SoerensNational Coordinator, Evangelical Immigration Table