Monday 09 April 2012

Bible Book:

"You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance." (v. 17)

Exodus 12:14-27 Monday 9 April 2012


Unleavened bread speaks of fear! The Israelites had long been inslavery in Egypt and unleavened bread is a symbol of the speed atwhich they had to escape once saved by God.

In the Jewish faith, salvation is about being freed from slavery -shown first in the events of the Passover and the Exodus. So greatwas the fear of God's children at the hands of the Egyptians, thatthey ran from Egypt taking with them only unleavened bread becausethere had been no time to allow it to rise.

This is the basic Jewish story of God saving his people. It ispassed on from generation to generation. It is commemorated andexplained in the Seder when the youngest is still encouraged toask: "What is the meaning of this day? Why is this night not likeany other?". And, in response, the story of God rescuing God's ownchildren is retold.

A Jewish friend told me recently how, in her family, the ancientPassover story is retold alongside family recollections of peoplerunning in fear for their lives too. She told of her grandmotherrunning in fear in Russia on the day that the Tzar's edict had beenread in churches - an incitement to villagers to go out and to killtheir Jewish neighbours.

Today, we too can sit alongside our Jewish neighbours, as we try tocontinue in God's work of salvation, freedom and life.

  • We can remember and pray for gay and lesbian people fleeing infear from those who wish to see them destroyed for beingthemselves. Or for their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters inthis country - and in our churches - running from exclusion andprejudice.
  • We can remember and pray for people with disabilities whobecome victims of hate crimes, or who lose benefits on which theydepend to live.
  • We can remember and pray for Muslims in this country and abroadwho become victims of fear and Islamophobia.
  • We can remember the unemployed, the homeless, the singleparent, the angry teenager - enslaved by circumstance anddisadvantage.

And as we remember and pray, we are reminded that ourchurches are intended to be places which reflect God's salvation -God's freedom for all people. Our churches are places where all arewelcomed - but not just welcomed, also loved, accepted and nurturedas the people God made them to be.


To Ponder

In what ways do you or your church community actto welcome and to embrace diversity - to stop people from runningaway in fear?

How do you, or your church, need to be challengedto be more accepting of all of God's children?

Previous Page Sunday 08 April 2012
Next Page Tuesday 10 April 2012