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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, June 8, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Exodus 19:2–8a

They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.” So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered as one: “Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. (NRSV)

A friend once told me a powerful story about an interaction he’d had with his mother when he was a child. He and his siblings were amusing themselves by referring to their mother by her first name rather than her parental title. The mother responded with a single sentence that spoke volumes: “There are billions of people in the world who can call me Sandra, but only three get to call me Mom.” That was the last day my friend used her first name directly.

By reminding her children what a privilege it is to call someone mother, Sandra also clarified the nature of their relationship. There are unique and exclusive dynamics to such a connection. In the same way, God defined the basis and terms of relationship with Israel through covenants like the one we see in today’s selected scripture. God rescued the people and then offers to make them set apart and purposeful if they will obey God’s ways and embody a holy calling. This covenant establishes is a step toward the fulfillment of overarching promises made in Genesis 12:13.

Many millennia later, the covenant relationship between God and people is open to all through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through Christ we gain not only a parent but also a guide, a healer, a redeemer, and more. We are God’s beloved children, and that status redefines everything else we do.

Loving God, please remind throughout my day that I am your beloved child, above all other identities. Fill me with grace and kindness for others because of knowing who I am in you. Amen.

Written by Michael Mirza, Director of Worship

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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