Saturday, July 18, 2015

Four Hundred and Thirty

If you are like me, you might be wondering how long it will take for society to reverse its course and return to God.  After all, it certainly feels like we are headed in the opposite direction.  Have been for years, right?  Maybe decades?  

For better or worse, one of the readings from Saturday gave me some perspective.  In the first reading, Exodus 12:37-42, we are reminded that the Israelites spent four hundred and thirty years in Egypt before God led them out of their slavery.  

Four hundred and thirty years.  

Four hundred and thirty years ago today, the U.S. wasn't even a country.  The Anglo-Spanish war had just begun, and we were in the early stages of the Elizabethan era in England.  

In other words, it was a long time ago.  

When you read about the Israelite's slavery in the context of thousands of years, it feels like a blink.  But can you imagine being an Israelite 30 years into that period, wondering how long it would last?  Not realizing there were another four hundred years to go?  

What does that mean for us today?  The optimist in me says that perhaps this generation will help shift society back to God.  But reading passages like Exodus makes me wonder if we are simply in the middle of a much longer "slavery".  

Each of us can make a difference, of course, with our actions and our prayers. But sometimes it is hard to tell which chapter of the story we are in - or even how long that chapter is!

God bless you, and our world.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


"Jesus summoned the twelve and began to send them out two by two." 

"If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up."  Ecc 4:10


They show up quite a bit in the Bible.  

In today's reading, Jesus sends the apostles out in pairs.  He knows that they will be witnesses together and strengthen each other.   In Mt 8:10, Jesus tells us that he will be there where two come together, and in 10:2, Matthew even lists the apostles in pairs.  Important events such as preparing the Upper Room, and securing the donkey for Palm Sunday also involved pairs.   

What I find interesting, is that today, we seemed to have moved to either side of that number.  At one end, we have less intimate, large gatherings that number in the hundreds or thousands.  At the other end, we have many people doing things (including praying) by themselves, without the support of another.  Both, of course, have their places.  But I can't help but wonder if we are missing some wonderful opportunities by not working in twos more often.  

God Bless you.