“If ever there was a peaceful protest, this was it.” These are not the words of an activist, nor a journalist but the Magistrate rumoured to not be easy on protestors. Today in court our charges and arrest for our prayer vigil in the Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s office was DISMISSED!
No jail time.
No criminal records.
In the ruling Magistrates own words when handing down the verdict:
“Everyone is entitled to protest… this is on the other end of the scale to Cronulla riots… If ever there was a peaceful protest, this was it.”
It’s hard to explain just how significant this maybe for the Refugee Rights movement, or as you call it in the U.S., the Immigration Reform Movement.
Yet for those of us involved in the action, it’s not time to celebrate. We might be out of jail but there are over 1, 100 CHILDREN today incarcerated INDEFINITELY by the Australian government. These children have committed no crime, not by Australian law, not by international law. And we shall not rest until freedom comes.
So we are asking for your prayers.
During Holy Week, Christian leaders across Australia will put nonviolent-love in action to end detention. Please join us in praying for wisdom. For guidance. For the power of God’s love to be felt by all involved; especially for the police officers arresting us and those who oppose and curse us. For our actions to be purified of any condemnation, judgement, or self-righteousness and instead people would be moved by a tangible sense of humility that comes from repentance and genuine love. Please pray that we would get our “self” out of the way so that God’s glory may be seen, not us. That our walking in the nonviolent way of the Cross would witness to the beauty of the Gospel. That God’s kingdom would come. That God’s will would be done, and that we would hasten that day when every child, any every person, will be free from detention.
What if the church could be a tipping point to end detention? What if Christians this Good Friday remembered Christ’s Cross not only pardons us, but empowers us(!) to take up our cross and accept that very particular suffering that comes when we put God’s nonviolent-Calvary-shaped-love in action to end the suffering of others?
What if instead of the church being in the press for the horrific abuse of children, the church was in the press for their work for the protection and liberation of children from abusive situations? What if we ended lent not just by abstaining from chocolate but seeking God in prayer for the end to the detention and the abolition of cruel policies?
What if we all simply joined in prayer to asked, “Lord what are you calling me to do?”
But be warned: the Spirit might lead some of you, like the Spirit has led some of us, to this conviction:
Holy Week is a good time to get arrested with Jesus.
Photo Credit: Kate Ausburn