Dear Campbell UMC,
This week is a bit of a fast forward in our story of “Generation Xodus.” Last Sunday Moses encountered God in the burning bush, was introduced to YHWH by name, and received God’s commission to go to Egypt to liberate the Israelites – all of which came to us in chapter three of Exodus.
Well this Sunday, we find ourselves in chapter twelve. And there’s a LOT of great stuff in chapters four through eleven that we may be in danger of missing. So this is a great opportunity for me to remind you that all of us are invited and encouraged to read the sections of this wonderful story that come in-between our Sunday focus texts sometime during the week.
This week, in these in-between chapters, Moses teams up with his brother Aaron and returns to Egypt, where he finds his people being ruthlessly persecuted by Pharaoh. The first time Moses asks Pharaoh to allow the people to go and worship together, Pharaoh replies, “Who is YHWH, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know YHWH, and I will not let Israel go.” (5:2)
Thus the lines of the confrontation are drawn, and a remarkable series of conversations among Pharaoh, Moses, Aaron, and YHWH weaves through a series of horrific plagues upon Egypt, until we come to the final and most heart-wrenching plague of them all, the death of every firstborn son in every Egyptian house.
This chapter of the story ends with the establishment of the ritual known as Passover, which will be the focus of Sunday’s worship services. We will think together about rituals, our day-to-day routines, our weekly patterns of worship and work, our special celebrations and holy days. How do the rituals of our lives evoke/invoke the power of our stories? How do our rituals of faith evoke/invoke the power of God?
Stories are powerful and sharing together in the story helps to form communities of faith in identity and mission. I’ll see you in church, where we will continue to share together in the story of “Generation Xodus: the Journey of a Lifetime.”
Grace and Peace,