Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teaming shore.
Send these the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
Emma Lazarus 1883
These words are inscribed on a plague that hangs on the inside of the Statue of Liberty. I wonder if we Americans believe them anymore. Do we really want the huddled masses yearning to be free in our country? Do we still have a heart for the other that suffers from, war, hate, hunger, abuse, and possible genocide? Do we fear the other so much that we would rather build walls that bridges of compassion and love?
The founder of our denomination, John Wesley, had an incredible way of weaving personal holiness and social concern into religious practice and conviction. He not only help people find the Lord, he helped people find food, jobs, and health care. He carried a deep passion for the whole person. He said to those called Methodists, “Give none that asks relief either an ill word or ill look. Do not hurt them if you cannot help them. And expect no thanks from anyone.” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . you did for me.” Do we reflect Jesus in our words and actions and do we see Jesus in everyone we meet? Do we see Jesus in the face of those seeking refuge, the poor, the prisoner, the sick, and the stranger? Think about it.