This week is #Faith4DreamWeek. Behind the hashtag is the important future of 800,000 young men and women dubbed “dreamers” whose fate lies in the halls of Congress. My son, Daniel and I, will be in those halls this week with other faith leaders from across the country. But whether in Congress or the Church, here are 3 helpful ways to advance justice for dreamers.
1. PREACH justice for dreamers.
No it’s not political. It’s Biblical.
What would have happened if Pharaoh had revoked Joseph’s status and deported him to Canaan? What would have happened if Nebuchadnezzar had revoked Daniel’s status and deported him to Judah? Egypt and Babylon would have suffered severe economic and political hardship.
Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar led the strongest nations on Earth at the time. They did not need a young foreigner to help them make Egypt or Babylon great again. Joseph was a criminal. Why not deport him? Daniel was a rebel refusing to follow the customs of Babylon. He didn’t eat the same food. He didn’t fit in. Why not deport him?
God is bigger than nations. He sovereignly moves people to foreign lands to advance His purposes. Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar both recognized the potential in young foreign dreamers. By inviting them to stay they reaped enormous benefits. God loves the sojourner. He is one of them. We are the recipients of a Kingdom that sent us its son to live as a foreigner among us. And we reap the enormous benefits of salvation as a result.
That’s not political, that’s being true to the Biblical narrative. Preach about the importance of Dreamers in the Biblical narrative. Here are helpful resources for a Dream Sabbath Service.
2. TEACH justice for dreamers
Understand the plight of Dreamers. They are not criminals. They are students, serve in our military, and are productive members of our neighborhoods. Like Joseph and Daniel, if they left – you’d notice. The University of Southern California recently released extensive research by congressional district demonstrating the number of your neighbors who have received DACA and are eligible for DACA. They also examined the loss of revenue from property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes and general contributions to your neighborhood. Click on the photo below to view the map.
Teach the community about the importance of justice for Dreamers. Write Op-eds. #Faith4DreamWeek has a helpful toolkit and talking points as well as a template for writing an OP-ed. Tell the stories of your neighbors.
Read about Gloria and Maria in our blog, The Truth About the Daring Resilience of Hispanics or hear Dreamers share their stories in our blog, Will You Destroy the Daring Dream of Dreamers?
3. REACH out and plead justice for Dreamers
My son, Daniel and I will be in DC this week at the invitation of Church World Service, a cooperative of 37 denominations, for their Faith Advocacy Days. Faith means nothing if it is not lived out. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only. Jms. 1:22.
There is a beautiful statue by the capitol pleading for justice. Cry out first to the King of Kings. Pray for faith leaders gathering in DC this week and for our Congressional Leaders. Join in praying for Dreamers. Prayer brings the power of Heaven to bear on Earth that God’s will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.
Fast. There is a strong Biblical connection between fasting and justice. Isaiah 58 is perhaps the most famous passage.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke? (Isa. 58:6)
Another young Dreamer called for fasting and prayer. She made a dangerous trek to Persia. Her parents may have died in the turmoil. She is brought into the government where she could stay safe and comfortable or choose to plead justice for her people. Esther could not see injustice and do nothing. She asked people to join her in fasting for three days and then she would take action at the risk of her life. Esther 4.
God cares about Dreamers. He can make away without us. But will we seize the opportunity to be men and women of courage like Daniel, Joseph and Esther. For such a time as this will we act? I pray we do.