Friday, 12 September 2014

Prospect
The Rev'd Robert Warren
Exodus 14:19-31

God has rights of salvage on us. Our life is not our own.

There is a story deep within us. Ask your children about the crossing of the Red Sea - they know the story well. The people of God emerge on the other side - safe and owing their salvation to God who brought them to the far shore. The events of the crucifixion and resurrection take place at the time of the Jewish feast of Passover which looks back to the Exodus events. Jesus might have needed to raise his voice at the Last Supper what with the noises of crowded Jerusalem streets below filled with
Passover pilgrims.

“This is my body. This is my blood”.

God is our deliverer. He brings his people from death to life. Because it’s a familiar story, we tend to think of it as our own: The Exodus is Israel’s defining story. Easter is the Christian beginning. But it’s a story that has made strangers of us as well. Our life has been granted to us. We are not its builders. Like all who might flop on to the shore after a narrow escape we see with clarity, for a little while,
what could have been our lot. We are thankful - for a while. The yearly celebration of the Passover meal in Judaism had, as its purpose, the regular reminder that we are still that same people - eating their meal in haste so that they could be moved by God when they needed to be moved. The weekly
celebration of the Christian Eucharist reaffirms this same fact - that we do not belong to ourselves - we are a saved people, rather than an accomplished people.

When we are commanded to give and to love and to forgive, why should we? Do we have no right of possession? Do we not have a right to reasonable boundaries? Have we no justifiable grudges?
There is a story, deep within us. It's a story which defines us in terms of something other than the retention of our rights and comforts. With the waters of the sea restored calmly behind us, our life remains a new enough thing - enough of a gift - that it can be placed at the service of others and made available for the purposes of God - for mercy and forgiveness, courage and self-sacrifice.

"Should you not have mercy....as I had mercy on you?"