Friday, February 12, 2016

The Road to Freedom

Begins with Hearing a word of HOPE

We are spending time in these daily readings with Moses and the children of Israel.  And they are still in Egypt.  In the text for today God is telling Moses what to say to the people and they will not listen:
Say therefore to the Israelites,

 ”˜I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians
'“ Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.

There is truth to this: when our spirits are broken it is very hard for us to listen to a word of hope and promise.   Maybe it is that we have a failure of imagination and cannot imagine that things could be any different than they are now. We find ourselves saying things like “it is what it is” or “this is the way it has always been.”
I appreciate the Biblical story of Exodus because there is so much truth here about what it means to leave Egypt – (the places, people, behaviors, beliefs) that keep us bound and broken.  And it does not pretend that it is fast or easy.  It reminds us, however, that our God is a God of love, hope and freedom.      And calling us to liberation 

In her book Strengthing the Soul of Your Leadership,   Ruth Hailey Barton writes about the “invitation to freedom from the inner bondage of being subject to the deeply patterned responses that were helpful to us at one time but could cripple us now in what we are being called to do. There is a call to liberation that we are often able to hear only when we have finally become desperate enough to consider a radical departure from life as we know it so that we can be made well. “

And so the story of the children of Israel begins when they are in bondage and unable to listen and respond to the hope that Moses gives them.  When they become desperate enough they start to listen and then begin the journey out of enslavement.
So, maybe today is a good day for considering the ways in which God is wanting to continue his liberating work with me.  Is there something I have been unable to hear because of my broken and enslaved condition?

Here is a prayer by Ted Loder

O God,
let something essential happen to me,
someting more than interesting
or entertaining,
or thoughtful.

O God,
let something essential happen to me,
something awesome,
something real.
Speak to my condition, Lord,
and change me somewhere inside where it matters....
Let something happen in me
which is my real self.  God. 

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