For several weeks we will be including in our scripture lessons during worship selections from the Exodus narrative. While Genesis is a story of beginnings, Exodus is a story of bondage and deliverance. Both parts of the Exodus story are important to remember. We are always in need of deliverance from powers we've chosen to serve and from powers which have ensnared us. We are a people always in search of a god who will be to and for us in ways we desire - ways which are not always helpful to us or to humanity.
The news is full of false gods these days. Many of these false gods remain attractive to us even though we know in heart of hearts that they cannot and do not compare to the God we've seen and heard in Jesus Christ. These false gods prey upon our need for security, our notions of success, our feelings of isolation, and our fragile egos which we protect at all cost. These false gods are willing to drain the life out of us and our neighbors if we but give them opportunity.
So, as Christ's followers, we must learn to speak "no" to these false gods and push back against them with the same force they seek to apply in the world. We should resist their unwelcome intrusion into the world created by God for the good of humanity with a word of hope, peace, faith, love and satisfaction that the God of Israel is indeed Lord of our lives. While this may challenge us from time to time it is the good purpose for which we were created. Like the Hebrews in the Exodus, our journey is one where God is leading and we are often seeking other paths to our redemption. We become misguided at times, not by God, but by our desires for a quick-fix, an elevated status, a painless end to our wandering. But, God lives with us in the deliverance as well as the trial, in the wilderness as well as the promised land. God is patient and calls us to trust.
Friends, this may be our wilderness moment as God's people - traveling a well-worn path of racial injustice on the way to a more equitable society. There are no quick-fixes but there's plenty of trial and tribulation. Seek God and live...trust in God who leads and guides us...and with daily fervor and strength call upon the name of God who is our help and salvation.