Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water; stand by at the river bank to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was turned into a snake. Say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say, “Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness.” But until now you have not listened. Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord.” See, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall be turned to blood. The fish in the river shall die, the river itself shall stink and the Egyptians shall be unable to drink water from the Nile.’” The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt – over its rivers, its canals and its ponds, and all its pools of water – so that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”
Exodus 7:14-19, New Revised Standard Version
Although Passover doesn’t start until Apr. 8, the news has felt a little biblical lately. As we travel through the current bumpy road, we feel the strain of many challenges converging all at once. As your minister, I don’t feel it would be helpful or pastoral to offer words of false hope or insincere comfort.
Instead, I can share the source of hope that nourishes me through these times. The hope I feel isn’t diminished by the day-to-day tweets of any one person, or the volatility of the markets or even the possibility of the diseases of body, mind or spirit. My hope emanates from a spring of faith that connects me with movements of goodness that run deep in the souls of those who have spanned generations quenching the thirst for justice and the long and difficult march of equality through the ravages of disappointments, setbacks and time.
And of course, the hope that rises to bring me comfort – the love of connection, of the human longing for compassion, kindness, seeing and being seen – will outlast the forces that seek to split us apart.
In the mythology of Exodus, there is a Moses who leads the people to the promised land. In the mythology of Unitarian Universalism, in this shared faith, in this complicated, imperfect and ever-evolving organism, we are each other’s Moses. We are here to find strength from each other when it feels impossible to take one more step across the shifting sands. We are here to link arms and serve each other the manna from heaven – the spiritual nourishment needed to face the next day.
There are reasons religious communities have existed since the beginning of recorded time. There are reasons UUCF has been a source of incredible connection, love and support for over 60 years. We need each other. We have so much to offer each other. We have reached another time in our history to band together to walk through the wilderness so that together we can reach the other side.