A little over two years ago, I sat amongst the foothills of Mount Elgon in Uganda. I was sitting outside the dorm room which I had settled my backpacking body for the night. It was a beautiful sunny morning as I sat at a small picnic table, gazing across the valley. Opposite were three remarkable waterfalls that careened down the African hillside before me.
As I sat, I opened a book. It was a book I had never read before but it was the very book I needed to read in that very moment. I am holding it in my hand, A Lever and a Place to Stand: The Contemplative Stance, The Active Prayer.
This was not a book I had brought with me on my backpacking sojourn, it was a book, dare I say, “God” provided me.
So just how many mountains have your prayers thrown into the sea lately.
As a child, I grew up in the literalist world castigating myself because my doubts were too great and my prayers were too weak to move mountains. It just didn’t work. And as a child I was inevitably puzzled because God has given up on the “parting sea” business. Looked like a pretty good “gig” to me, and I could identify a few seas that needed some parting.
As an adult, I have come to appreciate the power of symbol and myth as our ancestors in the faith put words to their mystical experiences of sacred presence.
I want you to feel that music of that anthem the choir just sang, that gospel genre about "Go Down Moses". That music has stirred the souls of generations. Our choir did amazing and when their voices are joined with the voices of the likes of Louis Armstrong, I feel a shiver up the spine. I feel the verve, and the determination, and the life-full-ness with each repetition of that powerful refrain, let my people go.
This fall, we are reflecting on our spirit lives in concert with the Exodus Epic, and epic which begins with the Sacred One, with the Great Creator, with God hearing the suffering cries of a people. The story is about liberation. Now we are reading a particular story about a particular people who name their god in a particular way, Yahweh, but we also recognize that the liberating spirit alive in the story reverberates across time and culture allowing each of us to cry let my people go
In the time of Jesus, When children were being denied access, Jesus said no, Jesus said let the children be. The children were his people. Now Jesus was no child, but he became one with the suffering of their being denied access. In that moment, the children were his people and he was crying let my people go.