— a collection of thoughts in preparation for my sermon on sunday —
Text: Exodus 14:10-14, 21-29
Saying “trust in God” during times of turmoil is a really nice thought; it looks great on a Hallmark card…
The reality is, however, it’s not so easy, is it? I mean, here today, we have God leading God’s chosen people, Israel, out of Egypt, only to then turn around and send the Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s armies after them! I mean, if that’s the case, God kind of sucks… But here’s the kicker in all of this: God never bails on Moses and the people. God keeps God’s promises.
Moses isn’t sure of himself (I mean, the man had a pronounced stutter…), he’s flying by the seat of his pants, and later the Israelites will call him out on it. But God has given them each other. The Israelites have an entire community on which to rely. A community with shared experiences and shared narratives. A community that truly knows what each other is going through.
And God never leaves. God continues to walk with and protect the Israelites, even when they groan and complain against God.
Trust is hard. It’s earned, not given. We look for reasons why before we trust. But I don’t think God is asking us to trust blindly or without reason.
Sometimes it can feel like we’re being sent out from our comfortable places, only to find ourselves at the edge of a vast sea with an army bearing down on us from behind.
It can be terrifying when we see these walls of water that could come crashing in at any time. Trusting in God can feel isolating, until we remember that we’re walking this journey together. God gives us each other. We can trust that.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the right here and right now, and we only look for God in the dark moments, and we fail to see that God has been right there with us the whole way, and no way is God going to abandon us, especially now.
God promises a way. And God keeps God’s promises. God always keeps God’s promises.
And sometimes God makes a way and that may not look like what we’re expecting…
Today, God makes a way of dry land in the middle of a body of water, and later on down the road, God will bring calm to the storms of our lives again. Only this time, we have a bunch of disciples sitting in a boat, and instead of parting the water and making a way through it, Jesus just walks on top of it, and invites us to as well.
See, we have trust issues, and ultimately, we can’t be told how to trust, we have to be shown. Jesus shows us what it means to trust in God.
God comes to us in the one who is called the Christ and says, “Here let me show you. Here is my body, here is my blood, given for you and for the world, so that all might have life.”