Pause

The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing.

He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive.

He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name.

Psalm 23:1-3

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Listen

So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “This evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. And in the morning you will see the Lord’s glorious presence, because your complaints against the Lord have been heard. Who are we? Why blame us?” Moses continued, “The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning because the Lord heard the complaints you made against him. Who are we? Your complaints aren’t against us but against the Lord.”

Exodus 16:6-8

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Think

There is a lot going on right now that we can be upset about. And when we think about it, how could we not be? We probably have a lot of complaints to fling at, well, someone. In this passage, the people have been complaining to their leaders, but their leaders are pointing them to God. It sounds like Moses and Aaron have had their fill of hearing complaints and remind the people that they are following God, too, and in the desert with them. They can’t really fix the situation; they are in it with the people, leading while they all follow God.

But also, Moses and Aaron, as they tell the people this truth, remind them of the truth of who God is. God's presence is glorious (and with them!). God provides for the Israelites during the difficult journey. Moreover, God is listening and responding to all the complaints that the Israelites have. They are not alone. They are heard.

God will take care of them and us – through the whole journey.

Emily Peck-McClain

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Pray

God who is with me, hear all my complaints. I know that you promise to listen and respond. Make me aware that you will take care of me through my whole journey. Amen.

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Go

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me.

Your rod and your staff— they protect me.

You set a table for me right in front of my enemies.

You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over!

Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live.

Psalm 23:4-6

Emily Peck-McClain

Rev. Dr. Emily A. Peck-McClain is Visiting Professor of Christian Formation and Young Adult Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She is author of Arm in Arm with Adolescent Girls and a contributing editor to We Pray With Her and Speaking Truth. Emily lives in Maryland with her spouse, three kids, one dog, and infinite chaos, especially during the pandemic.

Amazing Grace

Rodrigo Rodriguez

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