Day 16--Mooooossssseeeesssss!!!!--""Where is Holy?"" (Ex 1 - 4)
January 16, 2021, 1:00 PM

Day 16 Exodus 1 – 4

The book of The Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt into the Promised Land is one of the pivotal books in the bible. This journey continues to stand as a metaphor for Christians about God’s deliverance, which means ‘he saves us’. For the Hebrew people that meant guiding them out of the land of Egypt into a homeland they could call their own. We will learn about the Passover, about sacrifice, about suffering, about faith. For us, this story of deliverance also mirrors the story of Jesus who became, as we hear each Sunday just after our Eucharistic prayer: “Christ, our Passover [lamb], is sacrificed for us!” (For those who are not familiar, I have always added the word ‘lamb’ to this part of the prayer which gives us a clearer connection between Jesus, who is the Lamb of God,  and the Israelites.)

The Exodus was written perhaps as early as 1450 BCE (Before the Common Era). It is a dramatic story of faith, wandering, death, disobedience—in short an epic story of real life drama. And of course, it is marked by the appearance of one of the most important characters in our holy scriptures, Moses.

Yep. I see Charlton Heston whenever I think about Moses too, and I hear the ethereal voice of God echoing out of that burning bush “Moooosssseeessss!!” (If you have not seen the Ten Commandments movie by Cecil B. DeMille, this is a great time to do that. It’s over-the-top Hollywood, but it captures the story in a way that will stay with you.)

But I also see in my own mind and heart the crushing treatment of an entire people group, the Hebrews, who had to bravely and faithfully set out on a journey whose end they could not see. I applaud the midwives who trusted God and who would not enact the edict to kill all the baby boys—and yes, you should always be horrified by ANY story of violence that is specifically aimed against children whenever in history it occurs, including in our own time.

I see a flawed man, Moses, who is still called by God even after his own act of violence isolates him from his community, a man who believes that he is not defined by his past actions, but by his current calling to lead God’s people out of oppression. He is not perfect. He is insecure and headstrong. He is sometimes confused and tired. No leader, other than Jesus, is perfect.

I see in Moses a man who once ruled, but who became a shepherd in humility after his great sin, and who then remained a shepherd of God’s people. Moses carried his staff to guide the Hebrew people to freedom and safety, and he appeared before Pharaoh in humility as a shepherd. (Remember in Genesis how the Egyptians abhorred shepherds? Here we are again!) We are beginning to see the threads of the “Jesus-Story” as it is woven throughout our bible.

I have a wonderful children’s bible called “The Jesus Story” and the subtitle is “Every story whispers his name”. I love that and I am hearing these whispers now more than ever. As we continue through the Torah, and we read the stories of Moses and the children of Israel, I hope we are all able to hear the whispers of his name as well.

Be blessed, and be a blessing to others.

ML

 

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