The Old Testament reading for this coming Sunday continues the story from Exodus about what would be the forty year journey of the people of Israel as they followed Moses through the wilderness. They had been complaining about being hungry, so God had provided meat and manna, a kind of bread, for them.
Further in the journey they became thirsty because the place where they had camped had no water. They were cranky enough to want to stone Moses to death. So Moses went to God, and God replied: “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.”
Moses did what God had said, and there was water, gushing from the rock, for the people to drink. They were happy, at least for the time being. You can read all of this Sunday’s Old Testament reading here: Exodus 17:1-7.
The people were thirsty. I see and hear daily of the devastation of Puerto Rico and many of the islands in the Caribbean, and the rescue efforts underway. Shipments of food, water and medical supplies, along with other basic needs, are being shipped, or are prepared to be shipped from the mainland to the islands. Unfortunately, it is a seemingly overwhelming challenge to get these desperately needed supplies to the people in need. Would that someone like Moses could strike a rock and have fresh, clean water pour out. Would that there would be meat and manna come from God every night and morning. Instantly, so everyone would be fed and hydrated.
The good news is that there are people who are on the ground, clearing roads, finding ways to get supplies to those who need them most. Others are working tirelessly to get trucks to the docks, along with drivers. We pray for them and for their work. May we also participate and send help as we are able, knowing that every bit we do does make a difference. Thanks be to God for our willingness and abilities to help, each in our own way.
Let us pray:
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing,