Our Exodus study has been—to put it mildly—intense. This week, on the other side of the Sea of Reeds, things settle down a bit and they feel a little simpler. In chapters 16 and 17, a series of wondrous episodes demonstrate God’s presence and concern. The Israelites get thirsty, and water flows to them. When they get hungry, breakfast and dinner fall from the sky. When they face attack, they overcome their adversary in a most unusual way. A lot goes on in these chapters, but it has a lift to it. God keeps showing up and showing out, despite the grumbing. (And these folks know how to grumble!)
To be fair, the Israelites are managing extraordinary stress. After living in Egypt for 430 years, they’ve got to figure the whole nomadic thing out. Think of how stressed we get packing for a road trip or a long vacation. Now imagine doing that for an indefinite period of time. Sure, they’re stressed out. Naturally they’re complaining. Perhaps that’s why God issues the first law of the desert: work six days, honor the seventh. Rest. Let it all go. Eat leftovers. Be still. By the time the Sabbath gets codified in the Ten Commandments, it’s already an Israelite custom.
As we move into post-COVID reality, we may also feel stressed and disoriented. The media have picked up on this and it’s likely you’ve already heard the phrase “post-pandemic anxiety” bandied about. This new reality may be hard for a lot of us. But if we take anything from this week’s study, I hope it’s a two-fold lesson: 1) Trust is the first step to getting our needs met—often in unusual and possibly even controversial ways, and 2) We need to honor our sevens and rest on purpose—which is very different from resting when we find the time.
True rest can be more healing than medicine. And I pray that this transition back to “normalcy” will prompt us to be intentional and take a day of rest. Then, let’s flag other “sevens” in our days, scheduled moments to be still… to look up and wonder how blessings fall from the sky… to eat leftovers, chewing on ideas and emotions we’ve not had time to digest. Our addresses may be fixed, but we are nomadic in more ways than we recognize: constantly moving, mapping our days, running and rushing. There’s a lot to learn from the newly freed people of Israel. Join us this Thursday at 7:30p CDT as we continue our series, “Exodus: The Greatest Coming Out Story Ever Told.”
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 824 2401 2625
Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.
I look forward to seeing everyone this week!
We need your help!
As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!
Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea
As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.