By the Reverend Sally S. Weaver
Editor's note: Pastor Sally gave this sermon on October 11; we're just now getting it published. We're grateful for your patience!
Some years ago I attended a clergy conference in which the speakers were pastoral counselors and therapists from Care and Counseling. A key learning from that conference was "structure binds anxiety." By this, the experts mean that when people are anxious to the verge of panic, establishing routines and disciplines significantly lowers anxiety levels.
In today’s Old Testament reading, the Hebrew people are extremely anxious. They have left behind their old routines and structures. Sure, they were slaves in Egypt. But at least they knew what to expect; they knew what each day would bring and how they might cope. Since Moses led them out of Egypt, they’ve lived each day understandably anxious about survival in the desert: Would they wander in this wilderness forever? Where would they find sufficient food and water?
Yes, God had provided for them through the agency of their leader Moses. But now Moses is gone. What seems to the Hebrews like ages ago, Moses entered the cloud surrounding Mt. Sinai and disappeared. Moses’ return is long overdue. “As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt,” they say, “we do not know what has become of him.” The Hebrew people are anxious.
Forward Day by Day is a daily devotional offered by Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church. To learn more about their ministry and resources, visit www.forwardmovement.org.
Various members of the St. John's congregation contribute to this blog. For editorial suggestions, contact Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at firstname.lastname@example.org