Loving God, we pray for your guidance, yea even for your insistence, that we learn from the distillation of meaningful description of the lives of those whose example we would follow.
When we feel weak, remind us we are no weaker than Moses who as an infant was condemned to death by Pharaoh with all the Hebrew boys but survived with the protective care of his nurses, his mother, his sister, even Pharaoh’s daughter. Teach us not to think we have an excuse just because we need the help of technicians and scientists and other believers to address grave problems as universal as those Moses attacked. The genocidal edict at his birth is mirrored in our own time by catastrophes of nature and governance. Nearly 385,000 people in Puntland and Somaliland face acute food insecurity. An estimated 1.3 million people are at risk of slipping into acute food insecurity if they do not receive assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Those who suffer as well as we who would offer assistance somehow need to remember the protection that every vulnerable child, every domestic animal, and every weakened human being needs.
When like Moses, the murderer on the run, we are tempted to bury ourselves in the day-to-day work of life, as he buried himself in the day-to-day work of herding sheep for his father-in-law, draw us to you even if we are in the midst of our chores. Moses was in the midst of searching for a missing sheep when he met you in the burning bush. Teach us how to attend to your greater purpose for our lives even as we try to satisfy the most ordinary demands. Inspire us to look beyond our revenge-driven pursuit of safety from terrorism to study ways to reclaim those who have flirted with that particular face the devil. Let us attend carefully to what Hayat Germany has learned and is teaching the world about de-radicalizing neo-Nazis and would-be jihadists who have repented of their ways. Help us to give up our own playground preference for getting even. Help us welcome our own prodigal sons and daughters back to their families, back to their lives.
When we are tempted to copy Moses in pleading our own lack of preparation for what you call us to do, remind us that you feel angry when we fail to see what resources we have or to use other resources that we can find. “Moses said, ‘O my Lord, please send someone else.’ Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, ‘What of your brother Aaron the Levite?'” We understand our inadequacies very well! We live with them every day. But just as the deaconesses of the 19th century churches in the United States found a way to bring their nickels to meeting after meeting until they were able to establish hospital after hospital, nursing school after nursing school, we can find a way to fund the work that must be done to keep babies alive, to provide relief after natural disasters, and to educate the children of the world to be prepared to do greater deeds than we have dreamed of.
In the spirit of the hymn, “Lord, speak to me that I may speak in loving echoes of your tone,” Moses returned to Egypt with all its dangers and directly addressed Pharaoh, “Let my people go.”
Take us. Use us. Compel us, however small we may be, to set our feet along whatever path you tell us to take, for the sake of your beloved world.