#migrants #WWJD #Jesus
Amid the consternation over the governors of Florida and Texas delivery Latin American migrants to Washington and Martha’s Winery, I ask you to contemplate quotes from the 2 governors themselves, who through the years have proclaimed their reliance on God. After which I wish to inform you a narrative about an itinerant preacher whose life and dying modified the world.
First, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a Nationwide Day of Prayer ceremony in 2019: “When we’re talking about prayer, whether you’re doing it at the start of a legislative session, whether when you take an oath of office you’re saying, ‘So help me God,’ you’re doing that with the recognition that, ultimately, what we’re doing here on Earth is hopefully doing God’s will.”
Second, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in July 2016, explaining why he rushed to Dallas from a trip in Wyoming, regardless of having been badly burned a couple of days earlier, after a gunman killed 5 cops in that metropolis: “It was responding to God’s calling to be responsive and care about others more than myself that allowed me to be able to do that.”
Third, the story in regards to the preacher, based mostly partly on the Gospel of Matthew and partly on poetic license: “In those days there were wars, famines and great distress in many nearby countries, and thus some of the people of those nations said to each other, ‘We should take whatever we have and go to Judea, where we shall find food to eat, fair wages for our labor and doctors to care for our children.’
“So they packed their meager belongings and walked many miles until they reached their destination, where they sought refuge from hunger, fear and despair.
“But their numbers and their needs were enormous, and their presence disturbed many who lived in the land, including some of the followers of Jesus, who approached him and said, ‘Teacher, if you are truly the son of God and son of man, you can tell us what to do with these people who are eating our food and drinking water from our wells, washing themselves and their garments in our streams, and seeking shelter in our fields, groves and stables. Why should we take care of them when we worked for the things we have, and they did not?’
“And Jesus replied, ‘Perhaps you should charter a fleet of donkeys and deliver these Gentiles to the land of Egypt which, because of its persecution of our people in generations past, deserves no advance notice or assistance from us. Let the Egyptians and their pagan gods bind their wounds, dry their tears and soothe their children. If the refugees grow weary of their cruel and callous treatment, then they can go back to whence they came.’
“Then the listeners arose as one and made plans to acquire donkeys and provisions, at which point Jesus recalled that sarcasm was lost on many of his followers. ‘Wait,’ he said. ‘Don’t you remember the other day when I was talking about my Second Coming and how at that time I will separate the sheep from the goats? And how, when I praise the righteous for having ministered to me, some of them will protest that they didn’t remember having done any such thing?’
“’And how I said I’ll explain that when they showed kindness to people in need or in distress, they were showing kindness to me? I’ll tell them that when they fed and clothed hungry and desperate people, they fed and clothed me. And — listen carefully, now — that when I was a stranger, they took me in.
“’So, cancel the donkeys, OK? I was kidding. Now go forth and help these folks. No pressure, but I’d do it ASAP if I were you. Nobody knows the day or the hour I will return, remember? Not even me. I’d sure hate for you to find yourselves among the goats instead of the sheep.
“‘And by the way, that’s no sarcasm.’”
Frances Coleman is a former editorial web page editor of the Cellular Press-Register. Electronic mail her at email@example.com and “like” her on Fb at www.fb.com/prfrances.
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