Borders, language, culture
Recently, my family took a trip to New York City. As we sailed across the Harbor on that bitter cold January morning, I listened to different passengers speaking in various languages. I heard German, Spanish, French and Chinese (I think, maybe it was Japanese). As our ferry passed by the Statue of Liberty the westward windows were crammed with folks trying to get the best view and take a few selfies with Lady Liberty. Watching this commotion I couldn’t help but think of what tens of millions of immigrants must have been thinking as they saw this same sight less than 100 years ago. What was going through my grandmother’s mind as she and her sister, young girls in their early 20’s, gazed out at the New Jersey landscape while approaching Ellis Island? This new land with new opportunities must have generated joy and excitement while mingling with fear and trepidation of the unknown. For most, I would think, the possibilities which lay ahead made these misgivings worth challenging. Many of these poor, homeless exiles were leaving behind poverty and persecution for a shot at prosperity and peace. They longed to escape the miseries of their homeland for a land of refuge. The “Lady in the Harbor” with her torch held high symbolized this welcoming, and I would like to think she still does.
In the spiritual world of darkness there is a divine torch which lights the way for the weary pilgrim. It illuminates the path for the poor and tired. She is a beacon which reveals treasures beyond comprehension for the hopeless and desperate soul. “You are the light of the world.! A city set on a hill can not be hidden!” Matthew records these words of Jesus as He speaks to the masses in His sermon on the mount. His church is the harbor of refuge for the world! The church of Jesus Christ welcomes people from all nations, regardless of race, culture or language. God is the creator of all mankind and has provided a way of salvation “once and for all” through the blood sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus. As His church, we are commanded to “Go, make disciples of all nations…”. Therefore, let us prayerfully commit to be the light bearers that welcome the lonely, comfort the hurting, give hope to those in despair, provide for the needy, and teach the souls shrouded in the darkness of sin. Let us be His church that says with silent lips, “Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..”. Thanks be to God, Christ has set us free.