Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Easter 6, Tuesday - Sharing the Joy of the Passover

While reading about the first anniversary Passover celebration, Numbers 9:14 jumped out at me.  Naturally one might wonder what the sojourner has to celebrate at the Passover.  They (or their ancestors in Passovers to come) were not rescued from slavery in Egypt.  Now, there is something to be said for the fact that the sojourner would not know the LORD God of Israel if not for the first Passover, but I think this is something more.

Last night we studied Galatians 5:25-26 at Men's Club (and I wish I had thought of this then!) St. Paul strongly ends his section on life in the Spirit with "Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."  Both kill the communal sharing of true joy (and love and peace, patience, kindness, etc).  Conceit says "I have reason for joy and you don't."  Envy says, "You have reason for joy and I want to take your reason for myself."  (Now if only I had thought of this last night as I was teaching that verse at Men's Club.)

However, when the the Spirit gifts to us joy (and love and peace), it is not given just for the one person.  As we studied at Bible Class this morning, even as we are to bear one another burdens in the Church, we also are meant to share in each other's holy joys in this community of joy (HT: Rev. Matthew Harrison's "A Little Book on Joy" - listen to Issues etc intervieworder the book here).  And so the sojourner is meant by God to share with the Israelite's joy over their (or their ancestors') redemption from Egypt as if the redemption was their own.

"Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
king of the universe,
who led Your people Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Enlighten our darkness by the light of Your Christ;
may His Word be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path;
for You are merciful, and You love Your whole creation
and we, Your creatures, glorify You,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen."  (Evening Prayer's "Thanksgiving for Light", LSB 245)

Lord, help us to be like the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-9) - not in dishonesty and faithlessness, but in single-minded devotion to salvation for ourselves and for our neighbor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment