Posted on February 28, 2015
And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph…
The patriarch Joseph had made his family promise that if Israel ever left Egypt he would not be left behind. Just imagine these long years of desert camping and recamping, with the sarcophagus of Joseph ever a part of the burdens. It is a startling reminder that we carry with us those who have gone before us, not visibly, as here, but in our hearts and in the gifts they have left us.
This is a day to pray with gratitude for those who have either mentored us or shared their wisdom with us.
Posted on February 27, 2015
So God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness.
There is no shortcut to this journey. There is only the tedium of the desert where this people will have to learn both to trust God and to become a community. Both of these require time. And so Moses leads them on the longer route to the Land of Promise.
Are there times when it seems as if we too are on a spiritual journey that is far too long?
Posted on February 26, 2015
Remember this day on which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, because the Lord brought you out.
A bit dazed, still unsure of the Pharaoh’s intentions, a motley group of former brick makers has followed Moses into a new life. They will never forget this liberation which they will celebrate annually. This night as they stumble through the darkness toward freedom, they must have both fear and burgeoning joy about their future.
In our prayer, can we name our fears as well as our hopes for newness in this Lenten season?
Posted on February 25, 2015
Take in your hand this staff…
God gives Moses a visible sign of his mission. Would we have more courage if we too had something tangible? Our very baptism has given us more than a staff for the journey. We are marked as children of God, fully armed by grace to meet the day’s enemies. We do not think often enough of the gift of baptism.
Let us pray this day for the courage to walk in the love and service of our God.
Posted on February 24, 2015
O my Lord, please send someone else.
Moses is honest. He does not want to risk his life by returning to a place where a death sentence awaits him nor does he feel competent to do what God is asking. He has yet to learn that God’s grace is more powerful than man’s weakness.
This might be the day to wrestle in prayer with our own refusal of the promptings of grace to do hard things.
Posted on February 23, 2015
If they ask me “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?”
God is asking Moses to return to Egypt in order to lead out the people of Israel. Moses wants some guarantee that he is hearing correctly. To know someone’s name in the ancient world was to know the very nature of that person. God is about to tell Moses that He is the One who is, was and shall be, beyond time, but caring for those in time. He will give Moses His name.
Let us consider how we name God in our prayer times. Who is He for me?
Posted on February 22, 2015
The place on which you are standing is holy ground.
Moses, disheartened and discouraged, in a desolate spot in the desert, must have thought God could not possibly mean it. But God does. No matter where we stand we are on holy ground because it is there that God finds us. Bless your spot today – office, kitchen, workshop, armchair – and ask God to speak to you there.
May we bless our “locations” this Sunday as we come into the presence of our inviting God.
Posted on February 21, 2015
Walk before me and be blameless.
The God of Israel was so different from those pagan gods around them who would awe and terrify. What Abram hears this day is an invitation to walk with his God, to join his human journey to a greater one. There is also the assurance that he is not alone.
In our prayer this day let us remember that God wants to share the way with us.
Posted on February 20, 2015
And he believed the Lord.
Every Lenten observance must be fueled by faith. Why else would we even undertake it? Faith is not easy. That streak of doubt in each of us is wide and there is little in our secular world to feed our faith. But, if we remember that faith, in biblical Hebrew, is a verb, an action word, then we must summon the spiritual energy to use it.
In our prayer today we ask for the courage to trust both the Lord and His grace that is waiting to fill our timid hearts.
Posted on February 19, 2015
Do not be afraid.
And we are. What do we fear? Our own inadequacy, our many faults that might get in the way, the others who journey beside us, the unknown… God is aware of this so His reassurance will echo again and again through the pages of the Bible. How can we dare to fear when He has promised to be with us?
We ask courage for the unknown as we resolve to use these days to grow in His love.
Posted on February 18, 2015
The Lord said to Abram, “Go…”
It is amazing that the first word God utters into history is this starting out verb, “Go.” In fact, God says it twice so that there is no doubt in Abram’s mind as to what God means. It is a word we hear each day and a word that has special meaning on this Ash Wednesday.
Today, we ask in prayer for God’s grace to hear this word as we begin a new Lenten journey.
Posted on February 17, 2015
Lent is such a special time to consider our rich heritage as people of the Book, the heirs of all who have preceded us on the faith journey with God.
For that reason this Lent we will spend our daily reflection time with those great ones who have gone before us. We will listen as God speaks to them and so to us in words that do not lose their impact with the passing of time. Discipleship is not new; from the beginning of God’s actions with the people of Israel, God was forming them to be hearers and doers of God’s word. Isn’t this what we wish to be during this sacred season?
Posted on February 16, 2015
I never said good-bye to my high school seniors without giving them my little speech on lifelong education and their responsibility to go on learning as long as they would live. Some bits from the news world have reminded me that not everyone shares that sentiment.
Posted on February 9, 2015
I have begun to think seriously about the nra. No, I did not make an error in not capitalizing that. I’m not referring to armed America. My concern is the 20% of our population that has “no religious affiliation.”
Posted on February 3, 2015
Having spent much of last Monday listening to the weathermen expostulating over the coming storm of the century and then awakening to a very light accumulation upstate, I began to wonder how scientific those predictions are. I wasn’t further reassured when I learned that the storm had “wobbled” and that’s why it failed to live up to its prediction. (That might be an interesting word to think about later.)