Daily Lectionary Readings for Year A
We will sit with this Psalm for three days. For these three days pay attention to your senses. What are you seeing? What are you smelling? What are you tasting? What are you hearing? What are you feeling? Write down and lift up in prayer these ways that you process your surroundings and situations.
God considers the consequences of the escape route for the Israelites. God could lead them the shorter way, but it would be more difficult and would probably result in people wanting to turn back to Egypt again. Instead, God chooses to lead the people the long way, through the Red Sea. One of my favorite images in scripture is God leading the people to freedom. God went before them as a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. What kind of assurance would you find if God was leading you through a difficult journey? How is God out in front of you now, by day and by night?
The lectionary continues with Stephen's testimony of God's activity through time. Stephen recites the story of Moses leading God's people. This account also reflects on some who were on the journey but would not follow. Stephen says that in their hearts they turned back to Egypt. That phrase keeps rolling through my mind as I watch people disregard the dangers of COVID-19 and rush into stores, restaurants, and gathering places with no masks or sense of social distancing. There seems to be an effort to make a statement opposing the direction of this journey we are on together. Perhaps their hearts have turned back to Egypt, desiring the known and what used to be rather than the unknown and uncertainty of a difficult journey ahead. How do you act when you get scared? What can we learn from God's work throughout time and what it takes for a group of people to work together for a higher purpose?