Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on September 9, 2014.
Prayer: Be with us, God, when we go into unchartered waters and help us to feel your presence. Amen.
Reading: Exodus 14: 10- 15:21 (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: I recently read Jay Paterno’s book Paterno Legacy. Being a Penn State alum, I followed the events surrounding the Sandusky scandal with great interest. Reading the story from Jay’s perspective gave me new appreciation for what his family went through a few Novembers ago.
Whether or not you agree with the university’s actions in how they handled the legendary coach, the one thing that no one can argue about is that in the wake of JoePa’s firing, the university changed drastically. Coach Paterno worked for 60 years at Penn State, most as head football coach. The morning after his dismissal, the Penn State world looked and felt very different.
Jay writes about that in his book. At the time he was an assistant coach. Although his dad was fired, he still remained employed with the university for the remainder of that football season. He talks in the book about how it felt when we arrived for work the day after his father was let go. He describes feeling that life as he always knew was gone and he was swimming in unchartered waters.
I was reminded of his story as I read our Bible passage for today. The Israelites are pondering their future. They wonder if it would have been better to be under the Egyptians’ rule, a position they were used to. They were cursing Moses because he was taking them into unchartered waters. But God was there. God was guiding Moses and the Israelites and got them through their troubled times.
When you have troubled times and long for the constant of the past, look for God. As with the Israelites, God will be there to guide you and lead you into those unchartered waters into promised lands. –Chad Hershberger
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