1st Scripture Readings: Exodus 17: 1-7 and Psalm 78
“Exodus” according to my dictionary, means a departure, especially of a large group of people. During this few weeks of what the church is calling “Creation Time”, we have been following the exodus of the Israelites, under Moses, from slavery in Egypt.
Each week we have been adding to our travel display as we accompany the Jews on this epic and oh so transformative journey! This week we add a vessel of water to the collection as we contemplate with God’s people life without water.
Hard to even imagine, isn’t it? No water to drink, no water to brush your teeth, no water for your pets or your livestock, no water for crops – forget the dishwasher, the laundry or washing your car! Can’t happen folks, without water. Now imagine you are in Puerto Rico right now, knee deep in water you can’t drink because it’s contaminated, or in other places where the devastation is so complete that water delivery systems are destroyed, and so isolated that supplies of water cannot even be delivered. Think about the Rhohinga people, crowded in their thousands in filthy refugee camps in Bangladesh, where water for drinking and ordinary hygiene is not readily available. The danger of spread of deadly diseases is imminent under such conditions, and has been publicly proclaimed as such by experts on the international stage.
As I watch the news the idea of “Never again” seems hopelessly optimistic. How many times have we watched helplessly as some ethnic power group annihilates or displaces another less fortunate group of human beings.
And we have not even begun to think about the devastation our industrial practices wreak on other species – the displacement of forest creatures by clear cut logging, the loss of habitat created by enormous dam projects and open pit mining.
But – water continues to flow from the rock – from the mountains. Living water that speaks to us in the formlessness of Spirit. Guidance that is free and available for any of us to access. Leadership that will guide us out of the desert of our own folly to the promise of Peace and Harmony and Love – God’s great Love – guiding us to the promise of who we are meant to be, and who we have only to open our eyes to see that we are. We are far better than our present day actions would indicate my friends. We are children of God, made in the image of the Creator. It is time to accept the mantle and imagine and then create a better way to live.
Hymn #87 MV “Water Flowing from the Mountains”
2nd Scripture Readings: Philippians 2:1-13 and Matthew 21:23-32
“What would Jesus do?” is the popular rendition of “putting on the mind of Christ” referred to by Paul in his letter to the Philippians. Do we ever wonder what Jesus might think about the state of the world today? What he might say? What might he do?
And on this day of World Communion, how would he feel about how we are treating our neighbours? Are we being generous enough? Compassionate enough? Do we care deeply enough?
Are we willing to tell our governments that it is NOT OK to treat people badly in other parts of the world because it benefits us economically? Are we willing to tell our pension plans that it is not OK to invest in companies that are abusing indigenous people? The bigger question is: are we willing to take responsibility for the way things are, and to commit ourselves to living differently, making different decisions, and speaking from our own authority, the authority that comes from aligning ourselves with the voice of the Spirit within us.
As we learn to speak and act from the authority of this Higher Power, we will begin to create that community of all people, that communion of God’s people that is surely God’s Kindom here on earth.
Hymn # 145 MV “Draw the Circle Wide”