HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH
A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at https://youtu.be/gnNzV_UniRE
and will remain available throughout the day and the week.
For a printer-friendly version of the Daily Dose of Good News for Tuesday, April 14, please click DDGN 20200414
Hey there! It’s Vicar Sara. Welcome to April 14th. Today we’re going to read out of Exodus, chapter 15. It’s the piece that’s in between the excerpts I read yesterday. So, it kind of fills in the blanks:
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The Lord is my strength and my might,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The Lord is a warrior;
the Lord is his name.
4 “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he cast into the sea;
his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
5 The floods covered them;
they went down into the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power—
your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy.
7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries;
you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble.
8 At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up,
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with your wind, the sea covered them;
they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in splendor, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out your right hand,
the earth swallowed them.
13 “In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed;
you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
14 The peoples heard, they trembled;
pangs seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed;
trembling seized the leaders of Moab;
all the inhabitants of Canaan melted away.
16 Terror and dread fell upon them;
by the might of your arm, they became still as a stone
until your people, O Lord, passed by,
until the people whom you acquired passed by.
17 You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession,
the place, O Lord, that you made your abode,
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.
18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.”
Here ends the reading.
This passage in Exodus is in some ways tough and in some ways phenomenal. I think the tough part for us, can be that we can feel stuck with the gore, and with the defeat of these people- of these enemies that get swallowed by the sea. I think part of us struggles with that- it’s hard for us to think about people being killed. It’s hard for us to think about that type of death and destruction. The other part, that’s phenomenal. As the author writes this, the author sounds almost incredulous- of what kind of God can do this?! The acts of this Lord are amazing and phenomenal! This God, has this kind of power to overthrow enemies, this kind of might to actually protect God’s people! And to usher them into the safe, secure place where God wants to plant them like flowers. So they can grow and blossom and become who they’re supposed to be. It is done at the expense of these enemies; for the effect of having all the people in the region be aware that this is God: this is a mighty force to reckon with and these are God’s people. It gives them an extra layer of protection as they get ushered into this new place.
As I think about us, here, during this pandemic, I crave a God who can defeat things. I crave a God who can overthrow something that is deadly, that is a disease and that is- in many ways- our enemy. An enemy of life in abundance. I want a God who is powerful enough to shred that- who is powerful enough to destroy that type of death and destruction. That’s what God did, when Jesus was crucified on the cross. This God is powerful enough to overturn death itself. This is not a wimpy God. This is not a God who wants to do something and is yet, ineffective. This is a God who make claims of: this is what I’m going to do, and then, this God does it! Definitively, completely, without any mistake or question about it. It’s not an iffy defeat here. It’s not a mild defeat. It’s not questionable of: who won? It is loud and clear and certain: that this God was victorious and that this God is able to do that. And that’s a God that I love that I have on my side- for whatever difficulties arise, that feel overwhelming to me. When I feel incapacitated, in my own efforts, and my inability to change it or fix it or heal it orredeem it. When I am helpless in the face of such huge, horrific things, that this God comes right in, and this God is willing to overthrow those things, to overturn those things. This God is willing to fight for us- for the life that God has for us in abundance, in God’s holy sanctuary, with God, as people of God. I hope that brings you some comfort today: to remember the power of who your God is. The might of that, and that you are safe, protected and secure in that. It is pretty incredulous (and incredible!) Have a good day everybody. Bye-bye.