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Friday, March 5, 2010

Leaving Egypt Behind

Scripture: Exodus 2:22, Then she gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”

Names drift through our minds evoking memories of place, person or occasion. We smile, frown, chuckle, wince at wisps of experience. Moses engraved his remembrance on his son’s name-Gershom, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”

Moses first sojourned in water. A natural habitat for Nile crocodiles and egrets, but not for babies. Taken from his family he sojourned in his pitch basket awaiting a decision. Next he sojourned as an Egyptian in Pharaoh’s household. There surrounded by wealth and opportunity he grew in scholarly knowledge and military prowess. But when faced with choice his Hebrew heart called him. From Egyptian prince to runaway shepherd, Moses sojourned as a stranger in the desert of Midian, in a land he did not know, amidst a family of foreigners.

Separated from God, removed from our spiritual heritage by sin, we sojourn in the world. We look as if we belong. Act, talk, play out the roles we aspire to until the day our hearts betray us. For some of us the pain of separateness leads to even more painful experiences, as we try to bury our losses. Like Soloman we try all the world’s ways, love-power-pleasure, in our obsessive search for meaning in life.

Until we come to an internal desert. And there God speaks. And there He restores us to Himself.

Lord, please don’t let me forget I am a sojourner, an alien, in this world. Keep me from seeking false roles and wrong roads. Keep me in Your family, called by Your name.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry;

Do not be silent at my tears;

For I am a stranger with Thee,

A sojourner like all my fathers.

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