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Lectionary

4 January 20

Last night I was trying to find a copy of Pratchett’s Night Watch — avoiding Kindle. Massive, and complete fail. Copyright lawyerly weasels raise their ugly head again.

As part of the decluttering (thanks Kea, not) I read most of my books electronically. I get some real books by subscription, but shelf space is limited, and I often given them away. The bookshelf should be things you re read and re read.

In this mindset, I turned to today’s scripture, and failed to think clearly. So I slept on it, and recalled that the passages comment on themselves.

Let us start with Moses. A natural (tribal) leader, a rebel. Not in any way perfect: his wife left him, and he left some bodies buried in Egypt. This exile needed a direct contact with God. He was old. He considered his attempts to save Israel in his own strength a failure, and for that he was exiled.

Exodus 3:1-5

3 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

What Moses had was an encounter with Holiness, The very ground he was standing on was sacred. From this he had no choice but to not just believe, but act.

For faith is belief in action.

Hebrews 11:23-31

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.