Monday, September 26

A Word of Praise
Praise to you Divine Presence.
You laid the foundations of the earth
when the morning stars sang together.
You called forth the first fireball thirteen billion years ago.
May the flame of prayer kindle in each corner of my home
that this place might be sacred for encountering you.

Exodus 18:1-12  

Notes
1. The names of Moses’ two sons mean ‘Alien’ and ‘Help.’ The community of Israel and the community of the Church are, by definition, ‘alien’ to every culture, living only by the ‘help’ of God. The community of faith is not “at home” in any cultural context, any more than Moses was at home in Egypt. On the other hand, ‘help’ reminds us that the community of faith is not self-sufficient (needing no help from God) nor abandoned (with no source of assistance in time of need.)

2. Moses give the most basic testimony of faith to Jethro: “God delivered”  and “God led.” These phrases are the expression of a faith that is public, concrete, and political.

3. Jethro is the model for the way in which biblical faith is heard and embraced.. The core activity  of the early church in Acts is telling and hearing.- thus the primary form of evangelism.

This Week’s Prayer

September 12

A Word of Praise
Blessed are those who walk not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stand in the way of sinners,
nor sit with those who scoff;
but delight in your law, O God,
pondering it day and night.

Hebrews 11:23-29                                                

Notes
1. Exodus recounts the story of Moses’ and the Israelites’ journey from slavery to freedom. It provides the narrative line and historical details of the journey in the form of a gripping drama.

Hebrews recasts the narrative as a faith story. Each verse in this section begins:”By faith.” Moses makes each decision and takes each step by faith in God. His life begins in a boat of reeds floating in the river, rescued from death by the faith of his parents. In Hebrews 11, he crosses the Red Sea as if on dry land, trusting God’s promise to make a way.

2.An important part of the story is Moses’ refusal to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and his identification with his own people. By faith he turned his back on the palace life and its “temporary pleasures of sin” and join his own oppressed people.

3. Taken together, the two stories sketch an outline of faith. Faith is not simply belief that there is a god, but trust that God is involved in our lives. Faith is also hope, looking beyond the immediate to God’s future. Faith is tenacious and enduring, accepting promises deferred in the conviction that death does not annul God’s promises to us. Faith is courageous, acting in the face of royal edicts and fury. Faith may be subjective, but it is not totally subjective. It is the substance, the essence, of the very things hoped for.

This Week’s Prayer