From the Pulpit
The Old Testament reading for this Sunday is from Exodus, as was the reading for last Sunday. In both cases, some Israelites are complaining about what they don’t have. In one case it is about food, and in the other it is about water. These are essentials. They are necessary to continue living, however in other places, they simply complain because they do not like what they have. They complain that it was so much better back in Egypt. They have forgotten that they were slaves, and they had no choice as to what they did. Now they are free, but their food is limited, and it is not what they would have liked. In one place they complain about not having leeks. Here in the Ohio Valley, we have wild leeks called ramps It is fortunate that they did not have them in Egypt, or they would have stayed in Egypt.
Some of the Israelites have formed a Back to Egypt Committee. They are constantly complaining about what happens to them. Whenever there is change, there is always complaining. I have heard it said that the only person who likes change is a baby with a dirty diaper. Seniors in High School and college often become nervous about getting out on their own. Seniors, who can no longer take care of themselves, often complain about the possible loss of freedom if they move into a retirement community. People who move often complain about not having what they used to have where they once lived. During this pandemic, many people have complained about the restrictions put in place to protect them and others.
I remember a TV show where the new head nurse insisted that the nurses follow an old rule for nurses that was in a book from decades earlier. The nurses finally decided to do just that, and the new head nurse did not like the results. She wanted what she thought was the past, but she had forgotten what it was really like. In the same way, the Israelites had forgotten what the past was really like. I personally am glad that it is not 1918, when the flu pandemic was happening. I am also very glad that it is not many other times. Jesus told the disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit, which would lead them into all truth. The Holy Spirit is still at work, leading the church. Many people do not trust the Holy Spirit, and believe that they have to impose their own will, or they believe that God is not all powerful, and that God has lost control of creation. This is nothing new. The church has always been plagued by those who lose faith, but the Holy Spirit is still at work, in spite of our sinfulness, in spite of our doubts, in spite of our complaints.
(From the Pulpit is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of the Weirton Ministerial Association.)