Prayer: May we remember to look up to you rather than down at our problems. Amen
Reading: Numbers 21: 4-9 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Why did it take the Israelites forty years to make an eleven day journey? Why does it sometimes take us forever to get a simple thing done? One reason may be something we have in common with the Israelites: Grumbling. Grumbling which then leads to a bigger problem and then that is all we can see unless we look away from it.
The Israelites were grumbling again and in their impatience spoke against God and against Moses. No food, no water and we detest this miserable (manna). Next thing they knew, they had bigger problems - poisonous serpents. Then, finally then, they realize their complaining and speaking against God and Moses, had gotten them nowhere and worse.
The solution? Look up! Under God's direction, Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. He told the people, if bitten, look at it and live. It worked. Perhaps we could find solutions to problems we are grumbling about by looking up to God. Look up and live. -- Ruth Gates
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