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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The 5th of July - What now?

It's the 5th of July and the question looms - What now?  How do we embrace and live the Liberty, Freedom and Justice espoused in our declaration of independence that turns out to be a call into interdependence?  

Last Sunday, July 2, in my sermon I reflected on the shared values found in the teaching and modeling of Jesus and the words and symbolism of the Statue of Liberty.  The Gospel reading was from Matthew and is Jesus speaking to his and John's disciples. The Liberty reading was the poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, which is found on a bronze plaque inside the statue's pedestal.  

As a way, forward in response to "What now?" I offer the readings below, without commentary, for your own reflection.

Matthew 10:40-42; 11:1-6, 28-30

‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’

Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

The New Colossus 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, 
With conquering limbs astride from land to land; 
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand 
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame 
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name 
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand 
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command 
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. 
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she 
With silent lips. “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-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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