Our reading for this week (Exodus 32:1-14) is set on a dramatic stage. God’s people have escaped their Egyptian captivity and have been wandering in the Sinai. Along the way, God is re-forming them into a people no longer defined by their captors but redefined instead by their liberator. But God’s people are slow to change, and old habits are hard to break.
Compounding the challenge for God’s people to place their trust solely in God, is the lack of any stability or continuity in their day to day lives. Where will we sleep tonight? Where will our next meal come from? When will we get there? Where, even, is “there?” Trusting in the unknown and unseen is a tenuous proposition.
I suspect you might have questions of similar urgency right now. I know I do. Is it safe to go out? When will I be able to do the things I so love to do again? How far will our children fall behind in their learning? How many more will lose their jobs? Who else will fall sick and maybe not recover? It’s a frightening and equally tenuous time.
Compounding our challenge today are a variety of forces competing for our attention. Front and center are political parties and candidates with promises as grand as the trials we face. Added to this are the pleas to keep the economy propped up and essential social institutions intact. So, where do we place our trust?
As we navigate our way through this wilderness, my prayer for us is that we listen deeper still into God’s story. God has remained faithful to God’s people since the very beginning. The challenges faced have been great, just as they are now, just as they will continue to be. The distractions of this moment, these political promises, this limited-time offer are not the source of our hope, or our strength, or our salvation, if they aren’t pointing us back to the God who has and continues to lead the way.
May peace find you this day. -Pastor Peter
Faithful God of an unfaithful people,
The people of Israel doubted your power and turned to other gods to fulfill their needs. We too, turn to other gods, seeking acceptance, power, and independence. Show us how to live humbly in you, and walk-in your ways, in the name of the one who offered true power to all humanity, Jesus Christ. Amen.