On Controlling Our Borders

On Controlling Our Borders

A Prayer by Walter Brueggemann 

The US-Mexican Border. Source: CNN 

The US-Mexican Border. Source: CNN 

Jesus–crucified and risen–draws us into his presence again, 

            the one who had nowhere to lay his head,

                        no safe place,

                        no secure home,

                        no passport or visa, 

                        no certified citizenship. 


We gather around him in our safety, security, and well-being,

     and fret about “illegal immigrants.”

     We fret because they are not like us

          and refuse our language.

     We worry that there are so many of them

          and their crossings do not stop. 

     We are unsettled because it is our tax

          dollars that sustain them and provide services. 

     We feel the hype about closing borders and heavy fines,

          because we imagine that our life is under threat. 


And yet, as you know very well,

            we, all of us–early or late–are immigrants

                                    from elsewhere;

            we are glad for cheap labor

                        and seasonal workers 

                        who do tomatoes and apples and oranges

                                    to our savoring delight.

And beyond, that, even while we are beset by fears

                        and aware of pragmatic costs,

     we know very well that you are the God

          who welcomes strangers,

          who loves aliens and protects sojourners. 

As always, we feel the tension and the slippage

            between the deep truth of our faith

                        and the easier settlements of our society. 


We do not ask for an easy way out,

     but for courage and honesty and faithfulness.

     Give us ease in the presence of those unlike us;

     give us generosity amid demands of those in need,

          help us to honor those who trespass

                        as you forgive our trespasses. 


You are the God of all forgiveness.

     By your gracious forgiveness transpose us

          into agents of your will,

          that our habits and inclinations may more closely

                        follow your majestic lead, that our lives may

                        joyously conform to your vision of a new world. 


We pray in the name of your holy Son, even Jesus. 


Walter Brueggemann. (2008). Prayers for a Privileged People. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 95-96.