Monday, July 11, 2011
Moses and the Condemnation of Towns
Reflections on Exodus 2:1-15a and Matthew 11:20-24
“When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her son and called him Moses; for she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.”(Exodus 2:10)
This story of how Moses was drawn out of the water reminds me of two other passages in the Bible:
Jesus, “said, ‘Come.’ Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:29-31)
“Save me God, for the waters have reached my neck.” (Psalm 69:1)
Together, these three quotes are a reminder that God is in control, a reminder that he is the one who draws me out of the waters of chaos, from my utter weakness, and makes me secure in his love and mercy. And he gives me a new name, his own name, which will be written on my forehead, as it says in Revelation 22:4...I always picture the Tetragrammatron in shining gold letters on my forehead whenever I think of this verse. But who am I that I should belong to God? I think it’s a conspiracy...of love and mercy! I knew it!
“Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. ‘Woe to you, Chorazin...Bethsaida...Capernaum...for if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” (Matthew 10:20-23)
Great, just what I need: now that I have been consoled by the passage of Exodus, Matthew gives me a series of woes...what are you saying to me, Lord, through this condemnation of the towns???
And what on earth do the two readings have to do with one another???
it’s a puzzle, for sure...is this the answer? >>>I am Chorazin. I am Bethsaida. I am Capernaum. God has done mighty deeds in my life; His right hand raised me out of the waters of chaos, inadequacy, and despair more times than I can count. But have I fully repented and turned myself completely over to him, for the execution of his plan? Clearly not. I am Chorazin, I am Bethsaida, I am Capharnaum. I have been duly warned. I stand in need of mercy. I repent. I surrender. And I give thanks to you, Lord, forever, for your conspiracy of love and mercy. It’s a good thing there’s a conspiracy...