The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to live life in the present. This doesn’t mean just waiting for a time when we can do things more freely again. God is still at work in the world, and wanting us to join him. So, what does this look like? We can find some of the answers in the book of Exodus.
After God frees the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, he doesn’t just send them immediately to the promised land. Life is not suddenly perfect. The Israelites spend 40 years in the desert, working out how to represent God on earth and live a new way.
There is tension, confusion and even the temptation to go back to Egypt – back into slavery. When reading Exodus, it’s easy to be critical of the Israelites. After all, God is at work. He’s providing them with food (manna) each day. They’ve witnessed miracles from God – the literal parting of the sea so they could escape from Pharaoh. God is present in the camps with them through his communion with Moses, and even shares commandments to help them live.
Yet, the Israelites still struggle.
Why this can give us hope for today
God doesn’t abandon his people. God doesn’t stop doing good works. God doesn’t revoke his promises. Even when we lose heart, God is faithful.
Read through that again. And be encouraged that in and through Jesus, God came to us. In and through the Spirit, God is with us today.
‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’ (Galatians 5:1)
Next week marks the beginning of Lent – 40 days to intentionally set time aside and draw nearer to God. Why not use it, as the Israelites did, to work out how you can represent God in this time.
Because God is at work, healing, reconciling and bringing justice. And even in lockdown, you can be a part of that.
A prayer of preparation for Lent:
I surrender this time to you:
Open my eyes and my heart and
Remind me of who you are
and who you have created me to be.