In April-October 1980, we experienced the Mariel Boatlift from Cuba to the United States. Hundreds of small boats, plus the U.S. Coast Guard, brought over 125,000 Cubans seeking asylum from Castro Ceusa. Most landed in Florida. For the most part, these refugees were welcomed and many are now leaders in their communities and beyond.
The Collect on Sunday was instructive –
O Lord…grant that [we] may know and understand what things [we] ought to do and also may have the grace and power faithfully to accomplish them…
In King David’s time, the king served the God of Israel and the people of United Israel. King David united the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel. King David brought the Ark of the Covenant from the northern kingdom and the Tent of Meeting from the southern kingdom together on the high mount of Jerusalem. Davids son, King Solomon would there build the first temple of Jerusalem.
In a democracy, governance and faith are always intertwined, the relationship is always complicated.
The world watched as the young soccer players and their coach were rescued from rising waters in the cave of Thailand. Extraordinary efforts were made to save their lives, one diver giving his life to ensure their freedom.
And yet, we are hesitant to rescue our brothers and sisters and their children from the rising waters of violence and oppression south of our border. A nation with a proud heritage of welcoming the tired and the poor, those seeking freedom from oppression, is still hesitant, is still resistant.
!We can and we must do better!
Our faith calls us to welcome the strangers, to provide hospitality to the oppressed, and to feed the hungry. Jesus himself said –
Let the children come to me.
and he took them in his arms and blessed them.