This past Sunday Pastor Janice delivered a lovely sermon based on Psalm 137. “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” Psalm 137: 1-4 KJV
The scripture is referring to the removal of the Israelites from their native land by their cruel enemies.
I wonder how often the oppressed peoples of our Earth feel just as the Israelites felt so many years ago? How did our African American brothers and sisters feel when our ancestors took them by force from their homeland..in bondage and chains…to a new land for slavery and degradation?
What of the Syrian people who are fleeing their country under the combined threat of Assad and ISIS? As they seek refuge and shelter and food…a friendly…peaceful…kind human… to help them in their extreme suffering.
What of our Policemen and Policewomen? How do they feel when their colleagues are being murdered in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and all, many of them want to do is provide for the Public Safety…and return home to their family’s and live their life…and worship their God?
How do we all feel when the potential is great that the focus of our Country…The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave…may be changing dramatically?
Are all of the inclusive loving and caring…’opportunity for all’ tenets…now realigned to a pragmatic doctrine that excludes many groups of people on the basis of the color of their skin or their religion or their gender?
Often I have heard individuals say that they want to take their country back! While this statement appears to be a worthy cause…what are they wanting to take their country back to?
During World War II our soldiers fought valiantly for our country! My wife’s uncle Merle is buried at Fort Bliss. After visiting his grave we walked throughout the cemetery of uniform white grave stones. Proudly engraved on the hallowed stone monuments are the; Muslim Crescent and Star, the Jewish Star of David, and the Christian Cross…among others. All of these brave heroes of our Land…did not hang their harps on the willow trees!
Emma Lazarus famous poem is ‘graven on a tablet on a pedestal’ on which the Statue of Liberty stands.
“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, who’s 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 massed 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!”