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 1, 2011

Keeping the New Start New, a Reflection on Exodus 12:1-14

The Hebrew people are still in Egypt. Pharaoh has not yet admitted defeat. He is still refusing to listen. Things don't seem to be getting better. Things don't seem to be changed.

Yet, the Lord says to Moses, "This is the beginning. This is the first month of a new year." Then, the Lord gives what seems to me to be a surprising instruction, "Have a feast. Have a big feast. And put on your traveling clothes."

We may be living in the midst of trouble, of sadness, of disappointment. We may feel stuck in a situation that is painful and seems impossible to escape. We may wonder if God has forgotten us.

What is the purpose of the feast? Is it to help them forget how bad things are? I don't think so.

Can we learn anything from this passage to help us face our troubled times? Can we hold onto hope through difficult times?

The Lord tells them to remember this day, to celebrate it as a festival. Remember those days when hunger drove you from your home. Remember those days that you were slaves to Pharaoh. Remember that I sent a savior to deliver you, to bring you home.

Not just one meal but a perpetual ordinance. Perpetual--this isn't something that happened once way back then to a bunch of other people--this continues to affect us right now. Ordinance--do it.

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