Good morning everyone! I have some really exciting news that will hopefully motivate you to keep going! Most researchers say the establish a new habit you must do it for 21 days. Today is our 20th day. Keep going strong today and tomorrow and it will much easier to stay with these for the rest of the year. Keep going - so proud of you!
Today we carry on with the Exodus story leading up the first Passover. Passover is another crucial event in the history of Jewish people and is something that will be strongly referenced by Jesus when his ministry begins in about 200 days haha. Looking forward to your responses! Let me know how this is going for you so far. I love to hear from you.
Scriptures to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this scripture teach you about God?
What does this scripture teach you about humanity?
What does this scripture teach you about creation?
What does this scripture teach you about the relationship between the 3?
- My Thoughts -
This scripture teaches me that God fulfills God's promises and that God delivers the oppressed and broken-hearted. This also teaches me that God appreciates symbolism as God instructs the Israelites to perform the Passover meal each year as a symbolic gesture so they or their grandchildren never forget the message that God is a God of justice.
What this teaches me about humanity is that we are stubborn to admit we are wrong, and when we are stubborn to admit ourselves wrong we do damage without even realizing it. I also learn that we struggle with empathy naturally until it affects us personally. I've frequently liked the story of the 10 plagues to hot button topics in our culture by suggesting that we only really become passionate supporters of something when it affects us. We judge those with addictions until we know someone with addiction struggles. We judge LGBTQ peoples until we have a child that identifies that way. We dehumanize and critique minority peoples until we first handwork with or witness their struggle. Pharoah did not care for the plight of the Israelites or even the lower class Egyptians until it took something from him. His son. And though it was good that he eventually turned coat and set the people free, a whole lot of death had to occur before that could happen. Whether we want to actively think of it - the same is true for our culture today as well.
What this teaches me about creation is that animals and plants (spices and herbs) have always served as a connection between people and God. At first, it was destructive as we slaughtered and burned the animals and spices and later in parables as Jesus describes himself as a lamb. I know when I look into the eyes of my beloved pets I see the love of God present. It makes me keenly aware of much I consume animal products and I try to limit that consumption or not waste anything to honor them.
God, I thank you for the story of the first Passover as a reminder that you will always deliver me from the things that subjugate me, demean me, or belittle me. But God, that is also a reminder that you will deliver people from my own life if I am the ones to harm another. So help me God to do no harm, to do good, and to stay in love with you always. In these things, I pray. Amen.
Devotional prepared by Nicholas W. Gliha, Associate Pastor of Discipleship at the Chagrin Falls UMC on September 30th 2020.