“Terror and dread fall upon them. They see your strength, O Lord, and stand helpless with fear until your people have marched past – the people you set free from slavery”.
Ex 15:16 GNB
People not involved in the Christian church often take note of what is going on in Christian circles. The Pope in Rome is watched with great interest by the media because anything he says or does is taken to be the Christian thing to say or do. And the church (all churches) are taken to fall in line with his leading and example. Billy Graham was similarly watched a generation ago. Whilst not given the same global publicity as the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury is in the public eye as an example of a Christian leader.
The exodus from Egypt of the Israelite people under Moses was a significant event. It altered the balance of power in the Eastern Mediterranean and would have aroused fear in neighbouring countries – in Philistia, in Edom (south-east of the Dead Sea), in Moab (east of the Dead Sea) and especially in Canaan, the country the Israelites were expected to head for and which we now refer to as Israel. The panic in the European Union caused by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of unwanted refugees today illustrates how the migration of lots of people can affect others.
We need to be aware of how the presence or actions of the Christian church can be understood in the wider world. Compassion by the churches in times of crisis can speak of God’s love. Messages of concern and understanding over difficult social issues can similarly inject the presence of God in today’s world. What message is your church group sending?
Lord God, help us to send a message of love to the world.