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March 30

Exodus 15, 13-14

Something to read

In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed; you guided them by your strength to your holy abode. The peoples heard, they trembled; pangs seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

Football supporters always look forward to the local derby. There is something a bit extra about taking on the local rivals (especially if you win).

But the rivalry goes a bit further than that: my sons were watching the TV results, a bit dischuffed that our team had drawn, but elated that the rivals had been well and truly hammered. Sometimes our own success seems to be less important than the other person’s failure.

The Israelites were blessed by a sense of God’s presence. That’s good. Should they have been so glad when the other nations trembled with fear? Having God “on our side” is a great blessing, but when people seem to take as much joy from their enemies’ difficulties as from their own successes, perhaps we should ask whether “us and them” is what God has in mind.

Something to do

Consider who might be the ‘them’ to your ‘us.’ Is it the other football team and their supporters? The folk living on the estate over the other side of the road or railway? The people who are richer or poorer than you? Those whose skin is a different colour, or who speak a different language to you at home?

Those who voted for the ‘other lot’? You might have thought how much better things would be if they weren’t there. Now, think about what you would lose if they went away. Ask yourself how you can value having them in your community, and what you might be able to do to grow more links between you.

Something to pray

When we call you ‘Father’ we acknowledge our place in your family with others who also call you ‘Father.’ When we call you ‘Creator’ we accept that we are part of the world of diversity that you have made. When we sing of your love for us, we join with others to whom that love is given.

By your grace, open our hearts to share what you have given us, open our lives that Jesus’ light may shine far and wide, and give us the humility to accept what you have to give us through those who are different from us.

In the name of Jesus, our living Lord,

Today’s contributor is the Rev Tony Buglass, a retired Methodist minister, who was Superintendent of the Upper Calder Circuit in the Hebden Bridge area.


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