Last week, on Ash Wednesday, we heard the prophet Joel call out to us to join him in a fast: “Return to the LORD, your God… with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning… Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.”
This Lent, I am responding to Joel’s call and joining with others around the country in a great fast for families: where we are committing to pray and fast every Wednesday in Lent for citizenship and immigration reform. This fast impels us to “repent from an immigration system that tears apart families” and to be a collective “prophetic witness to the moral urgency of commonsense immigration reform so that all might have the opportunity to be citizens with equal respect and dignity.”
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. – Deuteronomy 10:17-19
Rabbi Brant Rosen, a congregational rabbi in Evanston, IL, puts a face to this “tragically broken immigration system.” His story is one of too many that leads us to this important fast for families.
And as Jim Wallis explains in his article Ash Wednesday: How Fasting and Prayer Could Change Us – and Our Country: “This is why we fast, pray and act because we are called by our faith, because we hear the cries of community members, and we will continue to mobilize to demonstrate that we will accept neither excuses nor delays. We will continue to pray, fast and act until the bonds of families are no longer broken and citizenship is no longer a dream, but a reality for 11 million aspiring Americans.”
So will you join this fast? (It’s never too late to start.)
* To donate to this movement and keep it strong, click here.
* Click here to sign a petition that urges President Obama to cease deportations while Congress is working toward immigration reform.
* Click here for the beautiful “Im/migration Stations of the Cross” created by Grace Commons Church in Chicago.