Ezra 2 (February 7)

         Tears of Exile

            “…they returned to Jerusalem”

            I am a Cuban American. I was born in Miami, but my parents are Cuban.  I lived in Miami for a time span of one year after my birth; then my parents returned to communist Cuba and there, I was raised until the age of twenty, when I finally was able to return to Miami in the Mariel boatlift in 1980.

            Since then my “exiled heart” longs to return and visit my family in Cuba, the land of my ancestors. Thousands of Cubans suffer in exile; many have died without the opportunity to return to their native land.

            The Hebrews also suffered a long captivity of 70 years.  In that period of time a new generation of Hebrews was born, which were bilingual and bicultural as are many immigrants today. It is safe to say that almost all of the original exiles died in Babylonia, or were very old by the end of their captivity.

            But one day captivity was over and the Hebrew people were able to return to Jerusalem. One day, the Cubans and other exiles around the world will be able to return to their homeland.  In the same way the children of God await with hope the end of our pilgrimage in this world. One day the trumpet will sound and the skies will be open and the Son of man will receive us in his celestial kingdom.

            I hope that the day of redemption is near. The Lord will save us from this earthly exile and return all his children to our real home, which is heaven. He will take us back to paradise and we will be forever free of the presence and power of sin.

            The new and eternal Jerusalem awaits us in heaven. Are you ready?

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