Thursday 4 April

Today is Thursday the 4 April,  in the fourth week of Lent.    

Ladysmith Black Mambazo sing: ‘Baba wethu singenile’: ‘Our father, we have entered in the holy place, as you have invited us.  Be close to us.  Open our hearts to understand your word.  Remove the darkness that surrounds us and give us your light.’  

Today’s Reading is from Psalm 105.  

Today’s reading is a challenge for this time of Lent!  Moses’ people, losing confidence on their journey, begin to long for something they can rely on that is immediate and visible.  They settle for something less than God because it is more concrete, easier to grasp, more manageable.  But ultimately the idols they create leave them with a kind of emptiness, a feeling of being unfulfilled.  Have you ever had the experience of longing for something that – then, when you get it – leaves you feeling a bit empty or unfulfilled as if there is still a kind of gap or space waiting to be filled?  

God seems to raise up, from among the people, individuals or groups who ‘stand in the breach’ and try to kerb this human trend towards self-destruction – good and strong people like Moses – not perfect in themselves but who somehow represent a word of God to the world to stop, to turn and change, to look towards life and happiness in a different way.  Who are the people who do this today – in the world at large, and in the circles I move in?   The psalm speaks of faraway places: Horeb, Egypt, the land of Ham, the Red Sea. 

As you hear it again, imagine instead that it refers to places familiar to you, the place where you live, the nearby towns or cities or districts.  How does the psalm sound then?  

What tendencies to self-destruction can I see in the world around me, and in the people around me? Is there anything I can do to ‘stand in the breach’? – to communicate to my world, to the people I know, a word of life?  Can I talk to God now about what He might be asking of me?  What words God might be calling me to speak?  What deeds God might be calling me to do?