Subject: Daily Prayers and Scriptures: Sunday, March 22

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During this time in which the whole world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are posting Daily Bible Readings from the International Bible Lessons for Christian Teaching, Spring 2020, plus a meditation to help guide your prayers, for your inspiration and encouragement.
Micah 6:1-8, NRSV
God Requires Justice for All

Hear what the Lord says:
    Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
    and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord,
    and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for the Lord has a controversy with his people,
    and he will contend with Israel.

3 “O my people, what have I done to you?
    In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
    and redeemed you from the house of slavery;
and I sent before you Moses,
    Aaron, and Miriam.

5 O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised,
    what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
    that you may know the saving acts of the Lord.”
6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
    and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?

7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?
God shows up for them

Rev. Meagan Manas, Director of Internal Relationships, Massachusetts Council of Churches

A meditation on Exodus 17:-7.

One of my favorite parts about this story is that the people complain, Moses complains back, and God helps them. God is not mad they are acting like 2-year olds, God does not make everyone take a time out or go cool off. God just says, hey, come with me over here, I’ll find some water for you. Help was always available, waiting just beneath the surface, and God was more than willing to show Moses where. They name the place “Massah and Meribah,” in Hebrew, which means “test and quarrel” because, it says, the people tested God. 

Isn’t that interesting? We have this tendency to think that when bad things happen to us it’s because God is testing us. I don’t think that’s true, not least because in this story, when the people are afraid, when they get hangry and start whining and fighting, Moses asks God for help, and God helps them. God is not testing how long they can go without water or if they can learn to get along. Their fear and anxiety are a test of God’s character, and God shows up for them.

This passage ends with a question: “Is the Lord among us or not?” It’s the question that has been circling around this whole story. Why did you bring us here, how will we survive, what are we going to need that we don’t have, what are we going to do, how are we going to move forward when we don’t know what will happen next? Is the Lord among us or not? By bringing forth water from a rock, God shows that God is indeed with the people, has been all along, and will continue to be forever. There are many reasons to be afraid and anxious. But God is still with us.

Today, what have you seen or experienced that reminded you that God is with us?
You can follow our daily readings, prayers, and meditations on our website at safe, healthy, and blessed during this time.
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