But now we are in that part of the story when Moses tells the people of Israel how to be sure that they remember their deliverance how they are to re-tell the story every year, how they are to dedicate firstborn animals to the Lord and how they are to call to mind God’s goodness.
It is powerful stuff: the remembrance of God’s goodness includes giving up precious livestock and spending whole weeks every year focused on nothing but this story of mercy and rescue. As our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate Passover this week and as we are celebrating Easter, we are all being called upon to remember the never ending impulse of God to rescue us from our messiness.
The messiness of course is real- and we now find ourselves in a situation which would have been pretty well unimaginable for most of us just a short while ago. But as much as our current predicament may feel quite surreal to many of us, there is also an intensity and a focus to it- a necessity to focus on the very nuts and bolts of our lives. That necessity is, I believe, a route into a clearer and more “real” perspective on God’s goodness. It is a wake up call for all of us- not the rude, unkind wake up call of someone throwing cold water over your head, but the amazing, blue sky, birdsong, cherry blossom wake up call of the gifts that are already all around us.
The book of Lamentations (chapter 3) does not skirt around the reality of our suffering but it says this:
17 my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is;
18 so I say, “Gone is my glory,
and all that I had hoped for from the Lord.”
19 The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!
20 My soul continually thinks of it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,[b]
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
On days like this, we really do see his mercy, new every morning. I pray that today you will see and smell and hear God’s mercy as you open your window onto to the world He has made.