Tuesday, March 28
“Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt’” (Exod 3:7-10).
The pilot announced over the intercom, “I have some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news: we are lost somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. We really don’t have any idea where we are. However, the good news is that we are making very good time. . .” We’ve all heard one or another version of a “good news/bad news” joke. In a way, that is the form that God’s call to Moses takes. First, the good news: God has not forgotten God’s promises to the ancestors, and does indeed intend to bring God’s people into a homeland. Further, God is not removed from the suffering of God’s people. God is aware of their oppression at the hands of the Egyptians, and God has a plan to deliver them.
But now comes the bad news: Moses learns, to his astonishment, that he is the plan: “I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt”! That is the problem with prayer, brothers and sisters! When we ask for God to act in our world, we had better be ready to put hands and feet to our prayers, for God will put us to work. God’s certain, and terrifying, answer to our prayers concerning racism and violence in our culture will be to send us to address them. Our promise is, however, that God will be with us, as God was with Moses.
Prayer: Thank you, God, that you see the suffering in our world, and that you care, deeply. We know that you are calling us to address the crisis of our times—but we are afraid, Abba. Empower us to be used by you to answer our own prayers, in the name of your son Jesus, who prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want,” (Matt 26:39), Amen.