April 3, 2012

April 3: Remember and reconcile

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By Jodi H. Beyeler, assistant director of public relations
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 12:1-14 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.
DEVOTIONAL:

As a kid, did your mom ever whisper to you when you left for summer camp, a sleepover or a date, “Don’t forget who you are and where you came from”? At the time, I thought that my mom just didn’t want me to embarrass her or my family. So it wasn’t until I was older that I understood that my mom had a deeper desire for me: to remember my roots, my values, my faith, and, most importantly, that I am a child of God like everyone I meet.

In today’s Scripture, God offers an invitation for the Israelites to remember as well. In the midst of persecution and on the cusp of deliverance, God initiates this annual faith festival of remembrance called Passover, complete with good food and community. God wants his children to always remember that it was God who offered protection and that they were to not participate in the judgment and vengeance.

This week we remember and celebrate a different path that God takes to redeem, deliver and save us: Jesus, the Lamb of God, gives up his own life rather than taking others’. Instead, he died for all, even his enemies. He died in an invitation of reconciliation, that there would no longer be an “us” and a “them,” but rather a recognition that “we” are all God’s children.

Let’s join him this Holy Week on the path of reconciliation in ourselves and with our families and friends. And let us be trumpets for peace in this world that seems bent on judgment, division, vengeance and war. For as long as we remember that we have each been created in the image of God – even our enemies – we might not make the same mistakes. Let us imagine that God is whispering to us: “Don’t forget who you are and where you came from.”

SCRIPTURE: Exodus 12:1-14 (NRSV)
1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

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Comments (8)

  1. Those are such words of wisdom and encouragement. Thanks, Jodi, for sharing them.

    Rita Miller April 3, 2012 |
  2. Oh-h-h, very nice, Jodi! Your connection from that motherly council to the maternal whisper from God to remember who I am creates for me a niche for Holy Week that contains warmth, remembering, challenge, call.

    Joan April 3, 2012 |
  3. We are all God’s creations but until we claim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are not children of God. There is a big difference.,

    glenda April 3, 2012 |
  4. Your mother was wise. With different wording, the same thought, “Remember who you are and WHOSE you are”

    Carol April 3, 2012 |
  5. It’s hard to get past the “us” and “them” mentality in certain situations, but that is the ultimate goal in making ourselves like Jesus. Thanks for this reminder, Jodi!

    Allison Goertz April 3, 2012 |
  6. You’re perfectly right, Jodi. We need to be true to ourselves if we want to to be agents of reconciliation and peace.
    Happy Easter.
    Mervyn Carapiet

    Mervyn Carapiet April 3, 2012 |
  7. Yes, you got it!

    Mom April 3, 2012 |
  8. “This week we remember and celebrate a different path that God takes to redeem, deliver and save us: Jesus, the Lamb of God, gives up his own life rather than taking others’.” – This part of your devotional made me think of something. So much better than the lamb the Israelites sacrificed, Jesus Himself is the Sacrificial Lamb, who saved us in a way that is similar to that of the Israelite’s sacrifice. On another note, I just wanted to mention that I love the message you present here of peace and ending of division. It is indeed very appropriate in today’s world, as always.

    Elizabeth S.O. April 6, 2012 |