This week, the internet exploded with stories of families being separated at the border. Headlines were heartache: “Anguish at Southwest border…” “Ripping children from parents’ arms…”
A policy of “zero tolerance” has created untenable, trauma-laden situations for families already at their breaking point. Between the stories we’ve heard and the images we’ve seen, our attention and outrage have come into sharper focus.
So has our interpretation of Romans 13.
After Jeff Sessions cited Romans 13:1-7 as a biblical basis for the administration’s approach, many Christians were quick to point out Romans 13:8-10:
“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments…are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)
But Paul doesn’t end it there. It’s worth continuing a verse further:
“Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.” (Romans 13:11)
Romans 13, once also used as a defense of slavery by the South, is a call to wake up to the injustices in the world around us. Privilege clouds our eyes with the comfort of sleep, but confronting our systemic sins requires the clarity achieved in our waking hours.
Yes, we know what time it is.
– Rev. Melissa St. Clair, Larimer County Faith Leaders Caucus, Heart of the Rockies Christian Church