Lord Jesus, our true Sovereign, we give thanks for Egypt. Even though the rulers of Egypt were not expecting a Jewish Messiah, they did not turn your Holy Family away and welcomed them when they fled King Herod’s wrath. Welcoming Savior of the nations, we give thanks that your Holy Family received the Magi from the East, welcoming their gifts. We give thanks that the Magi risked crossing many borders to get to the babe of Bethlehem, and there to be the first to worship him, even though they had neither the language nor the scriptures as their guide. Thank you for emboldening the Magi to disobey cruel Herod’s executive order.
Gracious Christ, we give thanks that in your earthly ministry you never turned anybody away, not even us, in our sin. We praise you for emboldening others to cross our borders in order to give us the good news that we were included in your salvation, even though our ways and our language were foreign to the gospel.
Forgive us when we sinned against Matthew 28:19, stayed comfortably at home, refused your order to immigrate into all the world, making disciples in your name.
Especially this day we pray for your work in the hearts and minds of the agents of Homeland Security, Border Control officers, and U. S. Customs personnel, particularly those who are trying to follow you. Give them the courage to be not only obedient to the government that pays them but also faithful to the Savior who gave his life for them and the whole world. Enable them to be kind. Put in their minds Acts 5:29, and give them courage to do speak up and to do right in this dark hour.
Forgive government officials who order others to do wrong, who perform cruel acts against others under the guise of service to their country. And forgive us for giving power to those who promise us false security and safety, giving them the authority that belongs only to you.
We confess that we have limited the expanse of your Kingdom to our merely human borders. We have been content to narrow the scope of your church to people who look like us. We admit that we have regarded people who speak other languages, who practice other faiths, and dwell in other nations as threats rather than as your cherished children, our sisters and brothers in Christ.
Lord who is gracious to the suffering, the homeless, and the persecuted, to those who must leave the places they love and venture forth like the Holy Family, be gracious unto us, even in our sin against your expansive salvation.
Soften hardened hearts. Go ahead and judge us and chastise us as you will. Force us to live up to our convictions and to welcome others as you have welcomed us.
Please, dear Lord, save our leaders (whom we elected) from following the way of Herod. Amen.