Pause

Take a deep breath right now.

Notice one thing you see,

one thing you hear,

one thing your body is touching.

You are here in this place. God is here with you, too.

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Listen

Moses replied, “If you won’t go yourself, don’t make us leave here. Because how will anyone know that we have your special approval, both I and your people, unless you go with us? Only that distinguishes us, me and your people, from every other people on the earth.”

The Lord said to Moses, “I’ll do exactly what you’ve asked because you have my special approval, and I know you by name.”

Moses said, “Please show me your glorious presence.”

Exodus 33:15-18

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Think

When I think about the Israelites, I think, “Wow! They’re so lucky to have God travel with them!” But, I often wonder if the Israelites felt so lucky — I wonder if they instead kind of dreaded being known as God’s people. It came with a lot of requirements that other ancient people groups didn’t have. The other groups had lots of gods and, in comparison, very few guidelines for living and worshiping. Did the other groups think: Oh, there go the Israelites and their One God again. Why are they committed to this God who makes them wander around in the wilderness?! So weird!

Moses knows that he and the Israelites are perceived as different — and that they have to be. Jesus is different, too. God is doing something different with them — and with us. We absolutely cannot and must not put our hope for salvation in anyone or anything else — not wealth, popularity, or even a politician. It must be God only, because God is our true hope and guide.

Erin Spengeman Hutchison

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Pray

God, I know your Way is different. Sometimes your Way is easy like helping someone in need. And sometimes it is hard, like speaking up for the truth. Please keep traveling with me and helping me to follow your Way. Amen.

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Go

As you go, remember that God is with you and with those who do justice.

Dare to be with God, too.

Erin Spengeman Hutchison

Rev. Erin Spengeman Hutchison is a Baptist pastor and has worked with youth for nearly 20 years. She loves to preach, laugh, and listen to Bruce Springsteen. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and has a super cool husband, two awesome kids, and a crazy dog named Cricket.

Bid All Our Sad Divisions Cease

Nathan Hanson

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