Brother Ron was a big man—and hugely wise. He once told me about his experience of leading weekly worship services. As he stood before the congregation with arms outstretched, he imagined that he was lifting up the congregation from the nave and then turning around to place the people gently inside the chancel to receive God’s mercy. This is an image that I have recalled often: a priest in the priestly office bridging the space between God and people.

As prescribed at Sinai, the Levites attended to matters of Israel’s worship throughout Israel’s history. Incidentally in today’s passage, which is prior to the event at Sinai, a Levite household produces the central leading figure of the Old Testament. The Levite baby placed into a basket on the edge of the Nile is Moses, who later becomes a mediating leader for Israel. Moses serves as a communicator between God and the people on Mount Sinai and in the tent of meeting.

The enslaved Levite mother trustingly hides her baby from Pharaoh in the reeds, and years later the man the baby grows to be encounters God at the burning bush. In the Exodus story, all of this leads directly to God’s people being led to freedom. This Levite baby is “drawn out of water” and named by a foreigner, yet he is lovingly raised by his own mother—a beaming, wage-earning, royal nursemaid handing down to her “fine child” his Hebrew heritage. Poetic justice and prevenient grace meet beautifully well in this story.

God, I thank you today for the priestly role of Moses. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Matthew 16:13-20

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Leccionario Semanal
August 17–23, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

Genesis now introduces a painful turn in the story of God’s people. The Israelites are forced into slavery; yet amid this dark time, a baby boy, Moses, is born. God has already begun the story of their deliverance. The psalmist recognizes that the Israelites would be overwhelmed and swept away without the help of the Maker of heaven and earth. Paul gives the Romans two specific instructions: First, they should be changed so that they follow God’s ways, not the world’s. Second, they must understand that they all need one another. Each child of God has a part to play in the overall body of Christ. In a famous passage in Matthew, Peter makes the basic Christian confession: Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Exodus 1:8–2:10. How can you serve in a priestly role?
Read Psalm 124. Reflect on the many ways God has blessed you and your community. Consider writing your own song of ascent.
Read Romans 12:1-8. What part of yourself are you holding back from God? How can you bring your whole self to your faith?
Read Matthew 16:13-20. Why do you think it is important to fully understand Christ’s identity before witnessing to Christ’s mission?

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