A Daily Dose of Good News
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Our Daily Dose of Good News today
Is an extended reading about the birth and early life of Moses
Through whom God would share the Law describing right relationship with God.
Listen again to the story and
Let’s give particular attention the meaning attributed to
Moses name along with his first born son Gershom.
Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.
The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and saw their forced labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his kinsfolk. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When he went out the next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting; and he said to the one who was in the wrong, “Why do you strike your fellow Hebrew?” He answered, “Who made you a ruler and judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” 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.”
After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.
It seems to me that the whole world is experiencing
Something of a Gershom moment.
While everything looks sort of the same —
Your home, your neighborhood, the grocery, the school,
The buildings downtown, the big stadium, all the restaurant around town —-
They also seem very different:
Not just empty or near empty, but more like abandoned, desolate, foreign.
It’s almost like one of those old Twilight Zone or Star Trek TV episode
That takes place at a time or a place
That sort of looks like home on earth and yet its not.
Even spending all our time at home while sheltering,
We are all sort of “Gershom”: aliens residing in a foreign land.
And yet like Moses we are all still drawn from the water as well.
Moses was drawn from the waters of the river
Where he’d been sent adrift to avoid Pharaoh’s decree
That all boys born to Hebrew mothers be killed
So that he could slow the population of God’s people
As their great number began to challenge his rule.
When as an adult Moses angered Pharaoh
By killing an Egyptian soldier who was abusing a Hebrew worker
Moses fled to a foreign land.
Yet even as an alien in a foreign land
He lived the faith of God’s people
Loving god and others,
Helping those girls water their sheep
A gesture that was not lost on their and their father
To the point of inviting Moses to “break bread” with them
Eventually marrying into their family.
And naming his first born son after the experience:
Gershom – alien residing in a foreign land.
As we are Gershom during this time of shelter,
You are Moses too
Still drawn out of the waters of your baptism
Beloved and saved by God from the powers of sin and death
Called and free to love God and neighbor even in these foreign times.
You do so by sheltering … and washing your hands … and wearing your mask
For the health and well-being of the community
You do so by caring for those close to you
And reaching out with cards, emails and calls to those further away.
You do so by supporting business and outreach to the hungry however you can.
And God takes notice of you.