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Daily reading: 16 January

No us and them

Something to read

Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household…. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

- Exodus 12:3, 11-13.

Something to think about

The Passover story is part of the great liberation narrative of the Hebrew Bible. We read of families eating their lamb stood up and ready to go, it is the beginning of the escape out of slavery in Egypt. It’s worth us pausing to consider the role of the sacrificial lamb in this epic tale.

After Pharoah’s refusal to let the Israelite people go into the desert, and nine plagues sent from God in consequence, we might well think we know who deserves to be under the judgement of God. Most of us have a tendency to read ourselves into a story as the ‘good guys’! But when the judgement of God passes over the land, the Israelites don’t escape it because of their goodness. Instead, they need to rely on God’s provision of grace.

The Christian message calls us to accept that none of us are truly good. As we look at the injustices rife in the world around us, and the oppressive actions of nations and societies together, there’s no ‘us’ and ‘them’. We are all culpable in the brokenness of our world, and need the saving grace of God, given through the Lamb. 

Something to do

Write a note of confession for the ways that you, as we all do, play a part in the unjust systems and structures of our society. Burn it in the same way as you did with yesterday’s picture, recognising Jesus’ forgiveness is for you.

 

Something to pray

Jesus, Lamb of God, I’m sorry for the ways that I hurt others through my own small actions, and through my share in structural sin. Thank you for the forgiveness and redemption that you give to me. Amen.

 

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones

Published on 16 January 2023