Yesterday’s lectionary gospel passage was Mark 9: 38-50. It included the following challenging words of Jesus, "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.”
At New Community Church, Rebecca Cole gave the morning message. She works for the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and shared about a recent trip she took along with other United Methodist leaders to an immigrant detention center along the US-Mexican border. She reminded us that there are still hundreds of children separated from their families as the result of US policy. The message became much more personal as Rebecca read from two note cards she brought home on which were written the prayers of two children shared during a worship service at the detention center. The following words were originally hand written in Spanish:
Please my God, help me leave here. I want to go with my family in New York, please God. Thank you brothers and sisters for praying for us immigrants.
Thank you, my God. You give me once again this day. I ask you to the favor of praying for me and my family members also and for me and my travel, too. And also I give thanks to my God. I am here.
These simple prayers remind us that the injustice of immigrant children separated from their families is still very real even when the news cycle moves on to other “issues of the day.” In light of Jesus’ words from Mark 9 quoted above, we know what matters to Jesus and what should matter to any and all of his followers. I am grateful that Rebecca reminded our church of the voices of these little ones. Hearing their voices, we are called to use our voices to affirm God’s love for them and to stand up for justice for all the little ones near and far.