July 4, Today’s thought – “I Lift My Lamp”

10-19,20-09 075The Statue of Liberty’ in New York harbor
photographed by Emily Crain, October 21, 2009

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
~~Emma Lazarus (July 22, 1849-November 19, 1887)

On this day in 1886, a year before her death at 38, Emma Lazarus recited here sonnet, “The New Colossus,” at the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French people to commemorate the centennial of American independence. Lazarus, herself a Sephardic Jew, was prominent in her role as head of an organization providing relief for Jewish immigrants. The closing lines of the poem, cared at the base of the statue, express her position that America continue to be “Mother of Exiles.”
At 305 feet from base to torch, the Statue of Liberty is the largest statue ever made.

Isaiah 42:5-7
Thus saith God the LORD,
he that created the heavens, and stretched them out;
he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it;
he that giveth breath unto the people upon it,
and spirit to them that walk therein:
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness,
and will hold thine hand,
and will keep thee,
and give thee for a covenant of the people,
for a light of the Gentiles;
To open the blind eyes,
to bring out the prisoners from the prison,
and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Matthew 4:16-17
The people which sat in darkness saw great light;
and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death
light is sprung up.
From that time Jesus began to preach,
and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Walk in that Light. . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

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