March 31, 2020
Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, "Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, 'Make bricks!' (Exodus 5:15-16). Across the world we're hearing stories of doctors and nurses who face shortages of personal protective equipment like N95 respirators as they treat patients with COVID-19. Hospitals are short on ventilators and beds in intensive care units. Even with the extraordinary measures some are taking to address these shortages, many medical professionals feel like they're being told to make bricks without straw, being asked to save lives and prevent the spread of disease but not having the resources to do so.
In our Old Testament reading from today, the Hebrew slaves were forced to make bricks without straw because Pharaoh wanted to punish them for Moses' audacious request that they be set free. But when Moses complained to the Lord about this injustice, God responded: "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of this land" (6:1). The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and it will be a long time before life feels normal to us again. But God's promise to Moses and the Hebrew slaves, and the deliverance that God won for them through the Exodus, should give us hope. Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37). We believe that through Jesus Christ, life shall triumph over death. Let us pray with that hope that God's mighty hand would come to the assistance of those who are making bricks without straw today.
Grace and Peace,