I cannot help be moved by the story told to me today of a young woman from a middle eastern nation who braved her way to this country, traveling to a neighboring land to obtain a visa, negotiating her way through the security forces of her nation, and coming to the United States – all without the support or encouragement of family. As an American, I can only say she is exactly the kind of person we want in this country.
But what is yet more moving to me is that she came to meet me with a New Testament from a second hand shop she had marked with a host of colored tags depending on whether it was a passage she loved or didn’t understand. She has found in Jesus a vision of God both compelling and liberating, a message of peace and hope and freedom. In her mind, she has become a Christian – a follower of Jesus. But should she tell her family, there would be violence.
She wants to proclaim what she has found, but she needs to protect her family and herself from the outrage of others.
How I wish the lifelong Lutherans of my congregations could see what she sees, those who take it all for granted, those who wed Jesus to their lives rather than their lives to Jesus, those who presume upon grace and see not the priceless treasure.