Reflection for Saturday 20 March 2021
READING: Exodus 12:1-11
“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.”
I wonder if you and your family had to leave your home forever in a great hurry what you would deem important to take with you? If you had to flee for your lives heading for what you hoped would be a place of safety, what would you gather together?
Every single day people have to make that decision, as they flee from violence, war, oppression, abuse.
We see it in the heartbreaking pictures of refugees on foot, or of people who make the treacherous journey over the sea in dinghies.
I can remember a young woman who arrived at a woman’s refuge with her three children, having had to secretly leave the home where she and her children had been subject to years of violence. They had only the clothes they stood up in, having left everything they owned behind.
You may be interested in visiting a site online of a collection of photographs entitled “El Sueno Americano” . You will see image after image of items confiscated from migrants crossing the border into the United States.
Items deemed non-essential, are taken and thrown away, cast onto rubbish heaps with no respect for the individuals they were “processing”
Water bottles, children’s drawings, stuffed teddies, extra shoes, bibles, toiletries, and row after row of jars of baby food. A mixture of what feels necessary for the long journey, but also little mementos of what a homeland left behind.
The images show our deep need to be connected to past and future, home and hoped for new beginnings, community and God.
Shoes, a staff, a meal eaten quickly; God instructs the Israelite's to take the bare necessities for making the long journey of migration to the promised land.
No doubt they looked round and tucked into their back-packs or pockets, symbols of home, reminders of God’s presence, and relentless hope in God’s promised future.
Off they set, not knowing where they were going, but placing their trust in God who led them all the way.
Let us pray,
God, you called your people out of oppression and slavery to make the long, arduous journey to the promised land of freedom and safety.
We lament the need for many of your children to flee their homes due to violence, war and poverty.
Grant them safety, give them respite, make for them places of welcome.
Bring us all to your promised place where everyone has enough and hurt and destruction are no more.