Scripture Reflection and Daily Prayer: April 15, 2020
In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Morning Psalm- 99:1-5
1 The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! 2 The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples. 3 Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is he! 4 Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. 5 Extol the LORD our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he!
Today our Jewish brothers and sisters are celebrating Shevi’i Shel Pesach, the last day of Passover. On this day they are remembering God’s liberation of the Children of Israel from Egypt, and Moses leading them into the wilderness on the way to freedom.
The Children of God, while looking forward to the promised land, leaving behind the suffering from which they had been praying for hundreds of years to be delivered, still felt lots of complex emotions, especially when Pharaoh’s army set out after them and they faced the barrier of the Red Sea. In the fear and confusion, some people cried out to God for salvation, some lashed out at Moses for getting them in this mess and not just leaving them be in Egypt. Here’s what happened next:
13 But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16 But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground.
And that’s exactly what God did.
Today the leaders in our country are deliberating about where we go from here? When can people begin to leave their homes again, and what’s the best way to manage that?
In this unique time in all our lives, some are panicked, understandably so, many cry out to God, and many more long to “go back” to the way things used to be. But here’s the thing, God always bring good out of evil. The virus and the pain and death it has brought, the job loss and poverty, is evil, but God is also revealing a lot about the sicknesses that effected our culture before the virus. There is much I’m looking forward to when we are free from this, but there is much of this time I think we must hold on to. We can and should slow down more. Our culture and our planet have been made sick by our ways of living and working. “Going back,” may feel safer, as to many Israelites captivity in Egypt momentarily felt preferable to freedom. But that is an illusion. Going back was not an option.
Many people are noting how happy nature seems to be with the fact that we humans have taken a break. The birds are chirping, pollution has cleared from the skies, there isn’t road rage happening on our streets. We all have so many different and unsettled feelings about this. But here is what God promises us today, just as Moses said to the worried Israelites: “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”
May we find some comfort in this promise, and find ways to hold on to this message, even when the days of physical distancing are behind us. Let us give ourselves and each other the grace to let the Lord fight for us, and for us, to only keep still. To the glory of God.
Let us Pray:
Satisfy us with your love in the morning, Ps. 90:14
and we will live this day in joy and praise.
God of all mercies, we praise you
that you have brought us to this new day, brightening our lives with the dawn
of promise and hope in Jesus Christ.
Especially we thank you for
ministries of discernment and governance . . . those who teach and those who learn . . .
the community of faith in your church . . . reconciliation in our relationships . . .
all gifts of healing and forgiveness . . .
“People of God, for what else do we give thanks?” Add your own prayers of thanksgiving.
Merciful God, strengthen us in prayer
that we may lift up the brokenness of this world for your healing, and share in the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Especially we pray for the church in Europe . . .
safe, clean, and renewable energy . . . those who are lonely and forgotten . . . those from whom we are estranged . . .
all who glorify you in worship and service . . .
“People of God, for what else do we pray?” Add your own prayers.
you are the source of every gift, and the fountain of all blessing.
Give us such joy in living
and such peace in serving Christ,
that we may gratefully make use of all your blessings, and joyfully seek our risen Lord in everyone we meet. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
“God the Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.”