By Tanya Eustace Campen
Intergenerational Discipleship for the Rio Texas Conference
San Antonio, Texas
First, read Psalm 70
As I read these words my mind drifts to the stories in the Old Testament and the book of Exodus. I think about God’s people living in Egypt so many years ago- those enslaved and working day and night under the Pharaoh. As my mind drifts and as I hear the psalmist say “deliver me!” I see God’s people working in horrendous conditions calling out to God for help. Deliver us! I hear them say.
As I reflect on these images and hear these words, my mind also plays the theme song from Disney’s movie Prince of Egypt, the animated movie that retells the story of the Book of Exodus, the Israelite people, and their chosen leader Moses- the one who led God’s people out of Egypt.
As my brain replays this song I hear the words again:
“Can you hear your people cry: Help us now this dark hour. Deliver us. Hear our call. Deliver us Lord of all Remember us- here in this burning sand. Deliver us. There's a land you promised us Deliver us to the promised land.”
The Hebrew word used in Psalm 70:1, deliver, literally means “to take away.” This Lent I wonder- what are you asking God to take away from you, what are you needing to be delivered from?
As I hear these words and reflect on the stories I wonder how many people today are still crying out to God for deliverance. For deliverance from addiction, violence, poverty, abuse, illness, and the list goes on. The images of God’s children crying out haunt me as I read this psalm, and as I think about the many things that continue to enslave God’s children this day.
Thank goodness for Lent- a time where we can step away and turn our attention to God, to realign our focus on our Holy Creator, our deliver. During these last 42 days we have had many opportunities to reflect on God’s love and God’s call for us to repent, to turn back, and to find new ways of sharing God’s love with everyone we meet. Now we turn our hearts towards the cross. Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday- the day when we remember the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples. As we move through Holy week let us not forget the deep desire for a savior, a deliverer. Let us turn to God as we pray the words of the psalmist:
“But let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you, and let those who love your saving help say again and again: “God is great!” (Psalm 70:4)
May it be so.
1. What are you asking God “to take away” this Lent?
2. Where do you hope Jesus will deliver you to?
3. What do you hear God saying to you as you wait?