All over the world this Sunday, churches will be celebrating the Christian sacrament of Holy Communion. Churches in every corner of the globe will enter into a radical covenant of hope as members of the World Council of Churches.
Holy Moses where are you today?
You are one of us I know. An adopted son of the empire.
And you are one of them. One of those who live outside Empire’s box.
One of the swelling millions for whom the Empire isn’t working.
Whether the empire grows with a boom, or recedes with a recession, makes little difference for these folks. They do the jobs no one else will. For less money than it takes to live inside the box.
No matter how hard they work there’s never a secure roof over their heads. Their insecurity is what best serves the empire. It drives down the wages that keeps prices low and keeps us consumers busy filling up our boxes with important, useful, entertaining stuff.
Outside the box we see the earth’s creatures dying, ocean’s failing,
There is a GOD who lives wild and free outside the boxes.
Outside of the carefully crafted boxes we’ve made for him.
Outside of the careful conventions we’ve adopted because we need containers to put such a wild God with in. Churches become like zoos where we come and visit the strange creature GOD is – just don’t let him out. We don’t want him running wild and free through our streets. He’d ruin the careful order we serve.
In Moses’ day, the slaves cried out
Their burden was too heavy
Egypt offered no hope
They cried out for justice
to a GOD beyond Pharoah’s empire
In our time, indigenous peoples cry out
Their culture and land is stolen
The empire is the thief
Governments collect taxes from it
We get cheap food and clothing
In Moses’ day, God heard and responded
The great “I am” put a fire into Moses
That burned but did not consume
In our time, God is silenced
In our need for a stable economy,
we hear and trust the priests of empire who say
“Keep consuming and all will be well”
In Moses day, God sent plagues to change hearts
The Nile turned to blood
Stopping commerce and fertility
In our time waterways fill with fertility’s run off and commerce’s waste
making rivers and lakes
Not safe enough to drink - or even swim in
Choking life in vast ocean dead zones
In Moses day, God sent frogs to tell Pharoah
In our time, frogs die off telling us of danger
Like the canary in the coalmine
In Moses’ day, God sent tiny gnats to make great Pharoah see
In our time, we use pesticides to control the gnats
But they evolve and become super bugs
And the land and our food carry traces of toxins
Too small to be significant
Until it all adds up
In Moses’ day, God sent flies to disturb the peace of Egypt
Flies in the eyes and noses
Flies in their food and in their drink
In our time, pandemics blanket the earth
Aids and tuberculosis and malaria and flu viruses
Plague the poor
Mosquito nets, and common drugs, and sanitation
The people can’t afford
Their governments buy weapons from Canada instead.
In Moses’ day, God sent a plague to make the livestock diseased
In our time, factory farms generate super bugs
Our demands for cheap food
Stretch the limits of natural immunities
Science pushes nature into a corner
And nature goes wild, striking back
In Moses’ day, God sent a disease of boils on the flesh
In our time, cancer is epidemic
Immune systems swamped by toxins
In air, water, soil, food, furniture, cleaning products,
carpets and curtains, cars and baby bottles,
our bodies turn toxic and cancers grow.
In Moses’ day, God sent Thunder and Hail
In our time, hurricanes increase
Ice caps melt, sea levels rise
Atmospheres warm and currents change
Nature reacts with fury and destruction
In Moses’ day, God sent Locusts to consume the harvest
In our time, the global empire’s economy tilts
Tax dollars prop up mega profits
To sustain mega projects and progress
While pension funds fail
And workers are left to scramble for food, water, and shelter.
In Moses’ day, God sent Darkness
In our time, electricity grids fail sending us into darkness
In the dark, we see how dependent we are
On cheap electricity that costs the world’s health
In the dark we turn to neighbours
In Moses’ day, God sent death upon the first born sons of Egypt
In our time, those who would inherit Empire’s legacy are lost
Their hands are tied with debts beyond measure
Their minds are fed with bottomless thirsts
Their souls are sapped of the land’s wisdom
The stories that have sustained generations are forgotten
The connection from past to future is cut
On the night that he was betrayed Jesus gathered with his friends and companions on the journey.
It was time to remember. It was time to return to the place where the journey began. They were there to re-tell the story of Moses.
To remember when their ancestors lived within an inescapable Empire. To tell how a wild and free GOD, not Egypt’s domesticated gods, spoke through Nature’s power, to change the heart of Pharoah.
Jesus lifted the bread of the Passover.
Bread made in haste for their quick escape.
Bread to sustain them in the journey.
He broke it and shared it with all who were ready – ready or not.
He said “this is my body – broken for you”
He lifted the jug of wine giving thanks to the SOURCE of all.
He told them it was the blood of the Passover Lamb.
The sign on the doorposts of those who would escape GOD’s plague.
That blood of salvation was his blood - he explained.
It was theirs to share.
An invitation to a new covenant;
A new beginning for an old journey:
The escape from Empire, the path of Hope,
Led by the ONE who’s passion burns for the people of the land
For the people who love and care for the land.
For the people who create peace in all their relations.
Come and taste this bread of freedom.
Come and drink this cup of hope.
Come, those who hunger for justice.
Come, those who thirst for peace.
Eat and drink and be filled for the journey.