With the birth of our first child this year I have been reflecting on the narrative of Exodus. In particular I have found it so hard to comprehend the context Moses was born into in. Pharaoh having ordered all male babies murdered at birth. What an indescribably terrible and inhuman thing to do. I can’t even conceive how someone could bring themselves to obey that command.
And yet in our world, in our world now, at the exact same moment in history that our beautiful little boy made his entry into life in the midst of safety, care, and peace there were babies being born into war zones, refugee camps, places of famine and lack, families of addiction and pain. There were babies being born into injustice and oppression simply due to the colour of their skin, the religion of their parents, or their gender.
I am overwhelmed with a deep, deep sadness and grief at the thought of it. I weep for those babies and the state of our world that is no welcoming and nurturing crib for so many new lives. How long O Lord!
I am crying out in prayer for those babies and this world. I am crying out for the human race that is capable of inflicting and experiencing such suffering even in the face of something as wondrous and beautiful as a new born child. Heal us, saves us, break the bow and shatter the spear! Bring peace and prosperity to the ends of the earth!
What can be my response in the midst of all this? How can I live for this new world for which my heart aches? I am reminded of the things I have heard Christ call me to, of what it means to follow the Way. To encounter Christ and love him knowing my hope is in him, to open my heart to others also seeking to follow this way as I don’t have the strength to hold on to hope when I am alone. To love the vulnerable and to lay down my life for my enemy, to act for justice and truth. To live deeply in that small place of the earth that I call home, to love my neighbours there and seek in some small way to be a vessel of Christ’s love, peace, and hope to them. Though I cannot do something for this whole suffering world, I can do something. Shalom and Amen.