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Showing posts from July, 2010

Freedom and the Road Ahead

Psalm 77 Psalm 77 is a very ancient retelling of the Exodus story of the escape of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. It's so ancient, in fact, that it may pre-date the version in the Book of Exodus itself. The congregation in the Temple or the synagogue recalls to mind the mighty deeds of the Lord when he rescued his people and displayed his incomparable power by rolling back the sea to enable them to walk across on dry land. Even the Egyptians with their powerful and ancient civilisation could not fail to be impressed.
The reference to Jacob and Joseph reminds us of the central actors in the earlier story of Israel's descent into Egypt to escape from a time of famine and take advantage of Joseph's status as Pharaoh's grand vizier. Now the Psalm charts the journey of their descendants as they made good their escape.
Last week's lectionary readings told us that God was not in the earthquake, wind and fire which passed outside the cave where Elijah was hiding…

Rediscovering God in the Clamour of Daily Life

Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 vv3-4 (inserted before v11) A shocking image on TV screens recently was the torrent of water sweeping through the town of Draguignan in Southern France, carrying cars before it like little toys and drowning 19 people as well as countless animals. I don't know whether deer really long for flowing streams, but surely they must fear the thunder of God's mighty cataracts just as much as we do. I guess the reference to deer longing for water belongs, in fact, to the context of the chase. A deer hunted down by dogs or by wild animals must long for water, especially in a hot, dry climate like Palestine. But sometimes there can be just too much of a good thing.

When we are up against it, then our souls long for God. I heard last week about someone who, in his own personal life, is being buffeted by waves and billows which threaten to submerge him. First his mother has been seriously ill with a brain tumour and, after collapsing and being unconscious for 45 minutes…