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July 3

Exodus 1, 20 – 22

Something to read

So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.'

New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

The midwives live but the Pharaoh does not spare the Hebrew boys. Again the inhuman order is given. The reason is obvious: get rid of the men and the women are left to produce a new generation of much stronger Egyptians.

Is the world different today? What internecine atrocities still occur today? Is the fear of the stranger built into our psyche so deeply? Egyptians destroying Hebrew boys hundreds of years before Christ came to preach peace to all.

Hundreds of years later, Christians were killing Jews and Muslims to regain control of Jerusalem. Do people forget the Nazi Shoah (the destruction of Jews and others)? What about genocide in Rwanda, the Balkans, Sudan? When will we ever learn?

St Paul in Ephesians 2 has the words 'no longer strangers'.

Is this wishful thinking?

Something to do

Look at your own children, or those playing in the street, in school or in the park. Now imagine that all the boys are missing, and were recently taken away, and that if you said a word about it, you would in all likelihood be reported and prosecuted. This is so unlikely that you’re probably wondering why I’m even writing this.

But this is what oppressive regimes do – establish fear, not only of the authorities, but of your friends and neighbours, as they might report anything you say to the regime. This story is thousands of years old, but we still see elements of what the Pharaoh did today.

Something to pray

For laughter where there were tears;
For resilient communities more able to withstand disasters;
For voices speaking out against injustice,
which were previously silenced;
For feasting where there was hunger;
For all the ways that Christian Aid is helping
to transform communities,
enabling our sisters and brothers to lead fuller lives,
Thanks be to God.
We are a part of that.
Thanks be to God!

Today’s contributors are the Rev Michael Jackson, a retired URC minister, and his son Andy Jackson, Digital Content Manager for Christian Aid


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