Digital Worship for September 27, 2020

Water from a Rock

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Today’s Reading: Exodus 17:1-7

“But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” Exodus 17: 3

Stories like this one, of the Israelites complaining about lack of food, lack of water, lack of leadership, scholars call ‘murmuring stories’. I have two reactions to that. ‘Murmuring’ is kind of a lame translation of a word that I think means more like protesting. Shouting. Dissenting, demonstrating, remonstrating. Protesting.

They are on a journey, a long journey, longer than they expected, no end in sight, with a leader they weren’t sure was competent or trustworthy. Brought to a place that seems to completely lack even the most basic resources needed to sustain life.

Personally, I think those Israelites have every reason to ‘murmur’. Shout. Demonstrate. Protest. I’ve done my share of murmuring over the past six months. Like those Israelites, and like you, I’ve been frustrated by so many things. I just can’t dwell on the whole laundry list again, and you know it as well as I do. We’ve been stuck on a long journey with no clear end in sight, with leaders it’s hard to have confidence in, with even basic resources hard to come by.

But through it all, God is sustaining us, sometimes in unlikely ways. As unlikely as water gushing from a rock. May it be so for each of us. -K

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