Today's Lectionary Text
When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses.
But Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian, and sat down by a well. The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. But some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to their defense and watered their flock. When they returned to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon today?” They said, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.” He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why did you leave the man? Invite him to break bread.” Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage. She bore a son, and he named him Gershom; for he said, “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.”
We’ve all had a chapter in life when it seems things just weren’t going our way. When Moses settled in Midian, he had to wonder when his fortune was going to turn around. He went from living in the court of Pharaoh to living on the run. And as the cliché says; no good deed goes unpunished. He ended up there for trying to do the right thing.
He had killed an Egyptian. But Moses was defending a Hebrew who was being beaten. He’s called out on it because he steps in to break up a fight between two Hebrews. Moses has done nothing other than seek justice for people who were being victimized, and now finds himself a stranger in a strange land.
This doesn’t stop him from continuing to stand up for those who are victimized. He defends women who are having their flocks driven away from the well. But this time, his good deed isn’t punished.
Something does go his way. He finds himself welcomed to a meal after stepping in on behalf of the priest’s daughters, which leads to a wife and a son.
We know God will soon call Moses to stand up not for one person, or seven, but for God’s people who are enslaved in Egypt. Before he encounters God in the burning bush, he is already starting to do what he will be called to do. Moses doesn’t see the ups and downs of his life as part of God’s plan, but God is working in God’s time.
I believe our lives can be that way. Even without moving away, we can feel like we’re a stranger in a strange land. Losing a job, a relationship ending, an injury or a serious illness may disrupt our lives; then we’re not even sure why we’ve ended up in this new and foreign situation. But if we continue to live as we’re called to live as children of God, and we continue to listen for the ways we’re called to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world, I believe we can find the clarity and purpose Moses later finds.
-Pastor Michael Turner
Topeka Grace and Big Springs
Prayer for Reflection
Ever present God, in those days when we feel lost and wonder where we are and why we are here, help us remember to listen for your voice. And as we hear your voice help us use our gifts to respond to your call with wisdom, strength, and courage. Amen.
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