When you cast out the righteous from among you

What can we do to soften the hearts of people around us in response to the negativity that makes up a huge part of the political discourse in our countries?

What can we do to protect families that may be forcibly removed or separated by the walls we erect between us or by the laws we pass that divide us?

This week’s reflection text comes from Helaman 5:14-18 in Community of Christ’s version of the Book of Mormon. In this narrative, the Prophet Samuel (a Lamanite) is standing on the city walls of Zarahemla and warning the Nephites of the dangers of “casting out the righteous from among you”. The narrative helps me reflect on the situation of families that are being separated at borders across the world – and to reflect on the state of our politics in response to migration.

“ ‘But if ye will repent and return to the Lord your God, I will turn away mine anger,’ saith the Lord; thus saith the Lord, ‘Blessed are they who will repent and turn to me, but woe to him that repenteth not. “ ‘Woe to this great city of Zarahemla; for, behold, it is because of those who are righteous that it is saved. “ ‘Woe to this great city, for I perceive,’ saith the Lord, ‘that there are many, even the larger part of this great city that will harden their hearts against me,’ saith the Lord. ‘But blessed are they who will repent, for them will I spare. “ ‘But, behold, if it were not for the righteous who are in this great city, behold, I would cause that fire should come down out of heaven and destroy it. But, behold, it is for the righteous’ sake that it is spared. “ ‘But, behold, the time cometh,’ saith the Lord, ‘that when ye shall cast out the righteous from among you, then shall ye be ripe for destruction.’ ”

What walls do you need to stand on to resist and decry the politics of separation raging today and share your witness of invitation?

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