09.02.2020 Devotional

09.02.2020 Devotional

Dear Beloved,

“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’

18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ Exodus 3:16-18

Do you ever feel like God's not paying attention? I've felt that way before. Sometimes I'll look at the unfairness and what seems to be a lack of justice in the world, and the way that evil seems to so often win out, and I'll wonder, what has happened to God’s promises, or I’ll say to myself, "Doesn't God care?"

In the midst of their captivity in Egypt, my guess is that the Israelites also wondered if God was paying attention. Where was God? Why wasn't God doing anything? How much longer did they have to remain on captivity in Egypt, building the Pharaoh's city?

People sometimes ask me why God doesn't seem to care about injustice. Doesn't God know that people are suffering? It's a fair question. When we watch the news, God can feel quite far away.

Before I became a pastor, I used to tell people that God does know what is happening, and that God is right there with those who suffer the most, surrounding them with compassion and love. I think that was true, but I'm not sure if it was helpful, maybe nothing more than a glib and easy answer.

Jesus once said that a sparrow doesn't fall to the earth without God knowing. If that's true, I think God knows when we are in pain, when the unjust gain power, or when things feel hopeless. I think God does indeed pay close attention.

In fact, I suspect that God is not only paying attention to what is happening, but to how we are responding. How are we confronting the evils of this world? When are we standing up for others, and when are we standing back?

I believe there will be a time when God will lead us into a "land full of milk and honey." I believe that, because I believe in a God who pays attention. I sometimes wonder, though, whether God might be waiting for us to signal that we are ready. When we start to participate in the liberation of one another maybe then, when God knows we are truly ready to move to the Promised Land, God will make a way out for us all.

Prayer

God, please keep paying close attention to us, and help us to pay close attention to one another. Where necessary, help us to make bold moves for the sake of others - for your sake and in your name. Amen.

Blessings,

Pastor Denise

 

 

 
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