With deft pen strokes, a woman painted a beautiful word portrait which contrasts a commander’s conquest with a patriot’s dream. Emma Lazarus, an American-born Jewish poet, is famous for writing “The New Colossus,” which adorns the bronze plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Here is the text for this poem:

“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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

These words are fitting for their relevance to America’s open-door policy towards the oppressed from all parts of the world. The American promise of freedom extends to all who come to our country. In a striking parallel, Jesus Christ came to those in need of spiritual freedom, and He invited them to come unto Him by accepting His payment for their sins on the cross. Those who accept His invitation find liberty from the penalty of sin, the noblest of pursuits.

Have you visited the Statue of Liberty erected 2,000 years ago on a hill called Calvary? All sinners, great and small, are welcome here. Your sinful past is not an issue — nor are your merits. Simply believe Christ died to pay for your sins and rose again, and eternal life and liberty will be yours forever.

The spark of spiritual liberty is contagious. If you have experienced it, pass it on to someone else.

Click here to learn how to help someone else find spiritual freedom.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.