Archive for September, 2008

Exodus 17:1-7

September 28, 2008

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Years ago I was driving from Colorado to California.  In Utah I decided to break the monotony of the drive with a hike in the mountains east of Salt Lake.  I spent about two hours winding my way up the trail, enjoying the wild flowers and the ever-widening views.  Gradually I realized that I felt thirsty and I had brought no water.  I turned around.  For a while I walked fast, then thirst drove me to jog and then run.  One turn in the trail offered a stunning view over Salt Lake City, but I sped by thinking to myself: every one of those buildings has running water!  If you have ever had a similar experience you know that thirst can become an obsession.  It may not be for water.  We can thirst for companionship, for a job, for faith… and these days for a stable economy.  Today’s reading in Exodus can stand for all those times in life when we thirst desperately, and searching every horizon, we see no hope. (more…)


Exodus 14:19-31, Matthew 18:21-35

September 14, 2008

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Perhaps you recall reading about the Oakland Firestorm in 1991.  It burned over fifteen hundred acres of hillside in Oakland and Berkeley; and it destroyed over 3,000 homes.  When the fires died out, one house stood – against all logic – unscathed amidst a neighborhood of burned out homes.  The owners of that house put up a large, hand-lettered sign in their yard: “Thank you, God, for sparing our house.”  I think of that sign when I read the story of the crossing of the Red Sea.  How could the people of Israel sing and dance and hug their children while so many Egyptians floated face down, leaving widows and orphans back home, keening in grief?  Did they really believe God was on their side, with indifference – or even animosity, toward the Egyptians? (more…)

Exodus 12:1-14

September 7, 2008

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If we wanted to put a banner over this reading from Exodus it would read, BEGINNINGS. If we understand from the start that this passage deals with beginnings, some of the seemingly random details become clearer. (more…)