It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Belief and Unbelief, a Reflection on Exodus 17:1-7

Here are some people who have witnessed the passover, witnessed the scene at the river when they were saved and the Pharaoh's army were destroyed, witnessed the manna from heaven when they were hungry. If they had been taken care of in the past, how could they doubt that they were going to be taken care of now?

Well, they're thirsty, and they aren't relying on the past. "What have you done for us lately, Moses? We were better off before you interfered."

Freedom doesn't mean that everything every minute is going to go our way. Being grateful for something that happened before doesn't inoculate us against fear.

Moses himself had seen the works of God up close, but even he is in doubt. Sometimes, we need more than seeing to believe.

Before, Moses could not believe God. God told him, "Take that staff you're holding in your hand and throw it on the ground." Moses did, and the staff became a snake. "Now pick up that snake," God told him. Moses obeyed, and the snake once again was a staff. "Hold on to that staff," God said, "you're going to need it again" (Exodus 4:1-17).

Moses and the people he is leading will continue to fluctuate between belief and unbelief, between gratitude and despair. And so do we.

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