Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/12/2023: Exodus 12:29-42

Today please be in prayer for

Executive director, Mainstream UMC
Kansas City District
Chaplain, University of Kansas Health System
Kansas City District
Behavioral health clinician, UW Health, Belleville, Wisconsin
Kansas City District
Chaplain, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Exodus 12:29-42

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon and all the firstborn of the livestock. Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his officials and all the Egyptians, and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron in the night and said, “Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, serve the Lord, as you said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And ask a blessing for me, too!”

The Egyptians urged the people to hasten their departure from the land, for they said, “We shall all be dead.” So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls wrapped up in their cloaks on their shoulders. The Israelites had acted according to the word of Moses; they had asked the Egyptians for jewelry of silver and gold and for clothing, and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And so they plundered the Egyptians.

The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides little ones. A mixed crowd also went up with them and livestock in great numbers, both flocks and herds. They baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt; it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

The time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. At the end of four hundred thirty years, on that very day, all the companies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. That was for the Lord a night of vigil, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. That same night is a vigil to be kept for the Lord by all the Israelites throughout their generations.

Today's Devotional

Have you ever stood at the edge of a significant change, feeling excitement and apprehension about the path ahead? This is where the Israelites found themselves as they prepared to leave Egypt. Their departure was an escape and a journey toward a new life. The road ahead was uncertain, filled with challenges and unknowns. Yet, they moved forward, guided by faith and the promise of a better future.

This journey was more than physical; it was a spiritual transformation. The Israelites shifted from being a people defined by enslavement to becoming a community bound by faith and freedom. The unleavened bread they carried symbolized the urgency of the moment but also the sacrifices required for freedom. In our lives, we, too, may find that we must leave behind the familiar to embrace the unknown. We may need to relinquish our comfort zones, preconceived notions, and even relationships that hold us back.

The journey toward spiritual and personal freedom is ongoing and calls for active participation. But remember, you are not alone on this journey. The triune God — Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer — is with you every step, offering guidance, love, and the promise of a better tomorrow.

— Rev. Andrew Conard
Topeka Susanna Wesley UMC

Prayer for Reflection

God of Liberation, who guided the Israelites from the chains of Egypt to the freedom of the Promised Land, please illuminate our paths through life’s complexities. Give us the courage to embrace change and the wisdom to discern the avenues of freedom as we seek to reflect your love and justice in our lives. Amen.


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