Singing the Lord's song in other lands

Being away from our homeland can open up new ways of feeling God's presence.

A Sojourner lives temporarily in another country, afterward returning to his native land. Some sojourners eagerly anticipate the adventure. Others have the experience forced on them, and the separation from the familiar is wrenching. For all, the challenges of language and customs can be formidable. At some time almost every sojourner with a religious commitment wonders, as did the Psalmist, "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?"

This cry is not mere perplexity over worship. For many it resounds with a longing for a more steadfast anchoring in reality, in the face of shifting human values. This cry is not one of despair; rather, it points to the immovable landmarks of one's spiritual journey that are marked out by the divine Spirit, which is unchanging Love. Such a reaching out to God liberates from confining circumstances. In my sojourning in Japan, two "breakthrough incidents" stand out to me from among many.

A heart for community
February 10, 1992

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