Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014


Psalm 40:6-17, Exodus 12:1-13, 21-28, Acts 8:26-40

Today in Exodus, we see the first Passover, where the Lord passed over Egypt and spared the Israelites because they had followed his instructions, which they were to carry out in remembrance each year after. In Acts, we see the parallel that Jesus was the ultimate Passover Lamb, and that it is by his blood that we are saved. If you haven't grown up in a Christian home, or haven't spent a ton of time in the Church (or even if you have), all this blood talk can seem a little weird. 
The Israelites were to mark their doorways with the blood of the chosen sheep or goat (one without any defects, spots, or blemishes....a perfect specimen), so that when the Lord passed over, he would skip their house, and the people inside would live (and then would be able to escape slavery in Egypt).
In Acts we see that Jesus is likened to a lamb going to slaughter. Because our broken world is enslaved by sin, we need someone to rescue us. Jesus was not blemished by sin, and was killed on a cross so that humanity could be freed from the bondage of sin, and made right with God (and this all happened around the observance of the Passover...perhaps you have heard of the last supper?). Do you see the parallel?
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day, and think of freedom from racial discrimination. King envisioned a nation where his children would be judged not by their skin color, but by the content of their character. We have come a long way on this, but still have a ways to go, I think. 

Freedom is a broad word. What does freedom mean to you? What did freedom mean for the Israelites in Egypt? What does freedom from sin mean for humanity? What does freedom look like when thinking about human equality? What are some other ways that people think of freedom? Is all freedom the same?

God, we thank you for the inspiration of Jesus. Grant that we will love you with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, even our enemy neighbors. And we ask you, God, in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, to be with us in our going out and our coming in, in our rising up and in our lying down, in our moments of joy and in our moments of sorrow, until the day when there shall be no sunset and no dawn. Amen.

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