The Kingdom of God is Yours

A few weeks ago, Trump tweeted ICE was going to deport millions of immigrants. His tweet triggered fear and trauma in our congregation as we tried to determine what he meant and the actual threat level. Our pastoral team worked tirelessly (especially Pastor Liz!) to support and protect our congregation. As a psychologist, I work with a lot of individuals and families dealing with trauma. But this was my first time supporting an entire community as they dealt with the chaos and uncertainty unleashed by Trump. What this man and his administration are doing is psychological warfare, plain and simple.

More raids were announced to begin this past Sunday. Immigrant families across the country were expected to stay home for their safety. We knew church attendance might be low. But, it wasn’t. Our service was packed out! (despite the two police officers standing on the corner watching our building until Pastor Alex asked them to leave. Not today, Satan!).

Trump and his followers have no way of comprehending the resilience, fortitude, and strength of a people who KNOW they belong to God. How could they? They only know how to seek power through intimidation, violence, and dehumanizing others.

But that is not the God we serve and that is not who WE are as people of faith.

We had the most powerful service I’ve experienced in a long time. Pastor Alex reminded us that Jesus was from the barrio. And because of this, we must learn to discern narratives that benefit the powerful and harm those on the margins. Jesus didn’t align with the powerful, instead he stood with the oppressed. Jesus didn’t just go to the margins, he was from the margins.

In this moment, God has chosen those on the margins to rise up and bring the change we so desperately need.

At the end of the service we shared communion together, the ultimate act of inclusion. God reminded us, a community being terrorized and dehumanized, “You’re not just a part of the kingdom of God—the kingdom of God is yours!”

Brandy Liebscher