Seattle is a so-called sanctuary city, one that will not allow it's police to inquire about people's legal status in an effort make them feel comfortable talking to the police without fear of deportation President Trump has recently promised to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities like Seattle.
How should we think about issues like this? And we need to think about them. I find it all too easy to say, "I'm a citizen, so it's not my problem," and to imagine that the issues that don't directly affect me are not worth my time. Or to prioritize my own safety and security over the safety of others.
But we’re all seeking sanctuary. The reality is that I’m destined for a sanctuary city, where I can never be ripped away, where home is a guarantee, where I will never be sent back to the hell from which I came.
"And I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day - and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations." (Rev. 21:22-26)
Offering sanctuary is the duty of Christians: reaching out and extending Home to people that have no home. It's what evangelism is: good news for the hurting, homeless wanderer.
I am just beginning to get a handle on how this should be addressed on a policy level, but I think that's entirely separate from how we should handle it on a personal level. Our government does have the responsibility to make decisions about what merits deportation. But as a citizen, I have a twofold responsibility: a) to challenge my government to make legal immigration available to those that (like my German and Polish ancestors) hope for a better life, and b) to love and serve and extend hope to my neighbors.
Five things to remember:
Plenty of thought, and debate, and phone calls to my senators are going to have to be the norm in the coming months and years; but regardless of the political outcome of these debates, we get to live out the gospel every day and be part of modeling a better way. And in looking forward to the guarantee of our own Sanctuary City, we get to extend that glorious invitation to everyone we meet.