Tuesday 20 July 2021
Today is Tuesday the 20 July, in the sixteenth week of Ordinary time.
Molly Parden, with Bifrost Arts, sings a setting of Psalm 126.
Today’s reading is from the Book of Exodus.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt." Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers." So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
This reading describes Israel’s escape from an oppressive slavery in Egypt. Try thinking what it was like for the Israelites to be set free that day from a power that held them in its grip.
Look at your own life today. Is there an oppressive power that keeps a hold on you? Perhaps a behaviour you continue returning to… or a situation in which you feel you are trapped, which is slowly destroying you, or a relationship that is draining the life out of you.
As you listen to the passage again, imagine what it would be like for you to be dramatically set free like this.
Now ask: who can free me from this oppression? Do you believe the Lord can free you? God longs to set us free – what are you asking God for today?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.