What great news!! God loves the world so much God gave their only son, not to condemn but to save!! That should bring a whole bunch of brightness to our shadows. So what happened in Jerusalem during the week we all call Holy? Seems like a whole bunch of folks loved the darkness more than the light, so they put Jesus on a cross to make sure the darkness would persist.

The folks in Jerusalem thought they knew better than some itinerant preacher from a far away and undeveloped land like Galilee; unschooled in the ways of the city folk and speaking a language that was different, a migrant, an immigrant, some kind of foreigner. Did he have any papers to prove himself worthy of people believing he was bringing love and light to life? Strange, ironic, and sad; that some of us, who think we have and know it all, use our privilege and blessing to shut out the light of and for others.

Today, there are many in our land and many coming to our land who bring the bright light of hope for a better future from far away and undeveloped places, fleeing the darkness of war, poverty, and violence in their lands, believing that our country will be the light for them. Yet they are met with fear, distrust and even demonization that seeks to keep us all in the dark.

Amazing, inspiring, redeeming to know that the one who was put on the cross to keep us in the shadow, unable to see God’s love, has been lifted up and now his brightness is revealing all the good deeds that have been done by those who offer welcome to these children of God.

Give us wisdom and strength, O Lord, to welcome the light that has come to us in all the migrants, the immigrants, the foreigners who share our land. Let Christ be lifted up in our love for one another. Amen.

Please join us on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. on the Lower Susquehanna Synod Facebook page and YouTube for justice centered worship services and forums, ideal for sharing with congregational small groups or during faith formation.

The path to the Promised Land took the freed Jewish people through the wilderness, where they wandered for 40 years. Facing danger and hardship, facing hunger and deprivation. Many people make that same journey through the wilderness today. The Southern Border of the United States is their hope for a land of milk and honey. They come driven by a desire to live free from the threat of violence and to provide for the needs of their families.   They leave everything behind for the hope of a new beginning.

Moses made a serpent of bronze when the people encountered poisonous snakes in their journey. The people were instructed to look upon the image of the snake that had bitten them, and they would be healed. The image of the snake that caused harm became the source of healing for those bitten.

Today, many still travel the wilderness in hopes of reaching their Promised Land, whether that wilderness be a great desert or a wilderness of fear traveled by people who believe that their Promised Land will be taken by those seeking mercy and asylum.

God is with us all in whatever wilderness we travel. And in God, we trust that every instrument of death and destruction may be refashioned to bring healing and life for everyone in the wilderness.

Give us strength, O God, to lift up your saving work for all who wander in the wilderness in search of a Promised Land.