On this holiday weekend, between the barbecues and fireworks, let's take some time to recall Emma Lazarus' poem inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, offering a haven, a refuge, for the burdened and battered. In the video below (scroll to the bottom of the post), Irving Berlin provides a musical setting for these beautiful words from Lazarus' poem:
Give me your tired, your poor,Do these words remind you, as they do me, of a more ancient text?
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.
At least at this one point, Christ and Lady Liberty share a common, open heart.Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Let's pause and pray...
Lord, open wide my heart
to welcome any
who've been turned out,
turned aside and turned away:
in my family, in my neighborhood
where I work and 'round the world...
May the light of my words and deeds
lift high a lamp of welcome
and my heart provide a place
of rest and comfort
for the weary and heavy burdened...
Let my heart open wide for others, Lord,
as your heart opens wide for me...
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