In this morning's service at Union Presbyterian Church, our mission team reports back from our week in July at the Jersey Shore, rebuilding homes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. This brief meditation was followed by that presentation.
Scripture can be found here...
Today our passage tells us about people in pain, people in distress, calling out to God for help.
The descendants of Jacob have been living in Egypt. They came as immigrants fleeing a place of want for a land of plenty. They stayed in hopes of finding a better life. For a time, that is what they found.
But eventually, these immigrants seemed threatening to the Egyptian Pharaoh. The people who had come as guests were taken into slavery.
The government treated them as unwanted vermin, even trying to exterminate them at birth.
“The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” [Exodus 2:23b-24]
Now, to say “God remembered” in Hebrew writing does not mean that God had forgotten. God had not lost track of the Israelites over the past 400 years. God does not lose track, then or now.
To say, “God remembered,” is to mean, “God acted.” To say, “God took notice,” is to mean, “God had a plan.”
That plan included Moses, a man who felt entirely unfit for the task. “Who am I?” he asked.
“I will be with you,” God answered.
God’s continue to be in pain and distress, today. In 2012, Hurricane (aka “Superstorm”) Sandy became the deadliest and costliest hurricane of that season, and the second costliest in history. 286 people were killed by the storm. $68 billion in damage was done to countless homes, businesses, and other structures.
And again, God had a plan. God still calls people to help one another. God remembers, and God places it in people’s hearts to answer the call.
Like Moses, many of us wonder, “Who am I to do this enormous task?” And as God replied to Moses, God replies to us: “I will be with you.”