In preparation for Sunday, please read the Passover story from Exodus 12:1-13, 13:1-8.  

What keeps us captive? The people of Israel were captives in the land of Egypt. They were powerless, enslaved, stuck.  When I hear the word “captive,” I am immediately transported back to the sanctuary of my childhood and the words of confession that began our worship: Most merciful God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves….

When I was little I thought this was sort of a ridiculous idea. As a kid, being captive usually evoked images of a villain behind bars or a bad guy being hand-cuffed. As I grew, I understood that there is so much more than handcuffs that can hold us captive. External forces such as systems of oppression and privilege, and internal forces such as mental health or addictions. We are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. The Passover story reminds us nothing, not even the forces that keep us captive, can separate us from the love of God. God delivers us from oppression (internal and external) even when it is beyond our human imagination. What is interesting in our story for Sunday is that the people were participants in their own liberation; they had a role to play. That role was cooperating with their neighboring households and following the rules set out by the Lord. The people depended on God for their liberation, but they also needed to depend on each other. As we make our way towards Sunday, may we remember that God frees us from all that holds us captive, and may we play our part, joining with our neighbors as we live into God’s liberation. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Community Prayer:
Lord God of grace and liberty,
On the night of the Passover the sacrificed lamb became a sign of freedom and you freed the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. In Jesus, you freed all humanity from sin and death. Help us live into this new life, teaching us to serve you in faithfulness as you have served us. To you we offer our gratefulness in the name of the one who turned slavery into new life, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.