The LORD said,"I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt. I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a land that is both good and spacious, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the region of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 9 And now indeed the cry of the Israelites has come to me, and I have also seen how severely the Egyptians oppress them. 10 So now go, and I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."11 Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, or that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"12 He replied, "Surely I will be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: When you bring the people out of Egypt, you and they will serve God on this mountain."13 Moses said to God,"If I go to the Israelites and tell them,'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,'and they ask me,'What is his name? what should I say to them?"14 God said to Moses,"I AM that I AM." And he said,"You must say this to the Israelites,'I AM has sent me to you.'"15 God also said to Moses,"You must say this to the Israelites,'The LORD - the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob- has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation.'16"Go and bring together the elders of Israel and tell them,'The LORD, the God of your fathers, appeared to me- the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob- saying,"I have attended carefully to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I have promised a that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey."'18"The elders will listen to you, and then you and the elders of Israel must go to the king of Egypt and tell him,'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, let us go three days'journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.'19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go, not even under force. 20 So I will extend my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will do among them, and after that he will release you. 21"I will grant this people favor with the Egyptians, so that when you depart you will not leave empty- handed.22 Every woman will ask her neighbor and the one who happens to be staying in her house for items of silver and gold and for clothing. You will put these articles on your sons and daughters- thus you will plunder Egypt!"
The essential nature of God is summed up in these words: "I have surely seen the affliction... I have heard their cry... I have come down to deliver them." The Divine Creator of 'all that is, seen and unseen', takes notice! This is not just seeing creation. No - this is seeing the marginalized and the outcast. Those who are afflicted are seen/heard by God - and a Divine response can be anticipated. Nobody is too beaten down to escape the loving protection of God. All are God's creation - and the Lord God loves them all.
Ordinary 28 / Pentecost +21
A Friend of Souls 50
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 304. .This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.
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