Thursday, April 21, 2016

Just as the end is approaching, look again...

Have you ever been a long trip, only to find out that once you arrived at your location, you were required to clean the bathroom and do the dishes? If your long trip wasn’t long enough, just as you were supposed to begin enjoying your trip, you’re stuck being a member of the cleaning crew. As we approach the end of Great Lent tomorrow, I am reminded of today’s reading from Genesis. We all know the Jews ended up as slaves in Egypt, so what about today’s reading got me thinking?

Genesis 46:1-7 -  So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.  And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here am I."  Then he said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation.  I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes."  Then Jacob set out from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.  They also took their cattle and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

Great Lent has been a long journey, and tomorrow we will arrive at the end of Great Lent. But just as arriving in Egypt wasn’t the end of the story for the Jews, tomorrow won’t be the end of our story. After a brief weekend of lessened fasting for the Saturday of Lazarus and Palm Sunday, Holy Week will demand another level of dedication. I hope you’re ready, but don’t panic. Years of slavery in Egypt ended as a blessing for Israel, and Holy Week will be a blessing for you.

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