4th July 2012
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Don’t ask me why, but this week I’ve been thinking about the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty. It says this:
“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!”
Since 1886 these words have been emblazoned on the base of this statue of a female figure carrying a book of laws in her left hand and holding aloft a torch in her right. She stands on an island at the entrance of New York harbour as a symbol of liberty and extends a welcome to the New World, to all the weary who have, by choice, escaped the Old World.
The scripture above is an invitation given by Jesus to all who are burdened, weary, and yearning to be free. We realise that He is offering a new world to replace the old world; he is offering a new way of life to replace the old way of life; he is calling those in need to come to him – to come to the place where all is forgiven, where burdens are shed, where grace is waiting, and help is available in times of need. It is an amazing place where a new and special Friend, who is The Light, the Torch of the world, stands waiting to welcome all those who choose to escape the old world and become citizens of the new.
The people who made the decision to travel to the new world were very much aware of the blessings awaiting them. There was freedom in another culture, enough food to eat, a place to dwell safely and enjoy life. The calling from Jesus that we are looking at – “Come unto me!” – also brings blessings. Read in Colossians 1:13, “God has freed us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Ephesians 1:7 tells us, “In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins.” “Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.” (Hebrews 4: 16). And in John 15:15, “I no longer call you servants…But I call you friends.” (All these scriptures are taken from the New Century Translation.)
Thank you, gracious Father, for this special invitation to your kingdom that you have extended to all humanity through your Son, Jesus–a call to just come to you and rest freely in your loving embrace.
Study by Cliff Neill