A Creed for the Immigrants

I believe in God, the Almighty that led the people
in exile, and in exodus,
the God of Joseph in Egypt
and of Daniel in Babylonia
the God of foreigners and of immigrants.

I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean,
who was born far from his people,
who fled from his country with his parents
when his life was in danger,
and when he returned to his own country
he suffered oppression
at the hands
of the tyrannical Pontius Pilate.
He was persecuted, beaten,
and finally tortured,
accused and condemned to death, unjustly.
But on the third day, this despised Jesus,
rose again from the dead,
not as a foreigner
but instead
to offer us citizenship in heaven.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the eternal immigrant
of the Reign of God among us,
who speaks all the languages,
who lives in all the countries,
and who joins together all the races.
I believe in the Church as sanctuary
for the foreigner
and for all the believers who form it,
that speak the same language
and have a common purpose.

I believe in the Communion of the Saints
that begins when we accept
the diversity of the saints.

I believe in forgiveness that puts everyone
on the same footing of equality,
and I believe in reconciliation,
that identifies us, one to the other,
much more than race, language or nationality
identifies us.

I believe in resurrection,
the moment in which God will unite us
as one people
and all of us will be unique,
but at the same time alike.

Beyond this world,
I believe in eternal life,
in which no one will be an immigrant,
but instead, citizens of
the infinite Reign of God. Amen.
(A Creed for the Immigrants: José Luis Casal, translated by: Kelly Ray.

Joyce SohlJoyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, and quarterly retreats and art exhibits.