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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Liberty and Freedom

Framing the channel down which we would pass, the Statue of Liberty held her beacon of light high on the left, while the Freedom Tower soared to the heights on the right. The skies were alive in a swirling mass of greys as dawn broke. I thought of the invitation on the Statue: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’

Here we were at the ‘golden door’, dawn breaking, our passports in order, visa secured, destination in sight, a place to go to and a daughter to see. We were not tired nor were we poor; we breathe free in our remote rural location in Scotland; we are not ‘wretched refuse, homeless, tempest-tossed’. And so we were welcomed in.

Had we been homeless, tempest-tossed refugees, the Statue of Liberty and the Freedom Tower would have initiated apprehension and fear. When my forefathers arrived on these shores, they were only afraid of rejection on health grounds. No TB and you were in to make your new life. Now? The confusing tangle of rules and regs and the fortress-mentality of the current administration, a mentality built on fear, disqualifies many if not most of the homeless, tempest-tossed refugees who cry for liberty and freedom. 

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” Jesus claimed these words from the ancient prophet Isaiah, and in him, and in him only, is there true freedom for all, vision and release from oppression.

Jesus is the light of the world, and his beacon of light still shines in the increasing darkness, inviting all who are tired and weary, hurting and broken-hearted, to shelter and thrive in him.

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