I sat next to my son, my only son, in church last week—and the readings from Scripture got me thinking.
As we heard the account of the Passover (Exodus 12), I imagined the thankfulness the Israelites felt because they painted the blood of a lamb over their doorposts. As the tenth plaque ravaged Egypt, the Israelites’ sons were living and breathing, about to escape their life of slavery.
I thought about Mary the mother of Jesus too, who knew from the very beginning that all the wrath of God would be poured out on her son. This was the boy she taught to talk and walk, who hugged her as a teenager in front of his friends, who—even while hanging on a cross—made sure she had a “son” to take care of her. No wonder a sword pierced her own soul.
Then I thought about our heavenly Father, who loved us so much that, while we were still actively opposed to him, he sent his only Son for us. As self-centered as I am, I don’t think I would punish my son for what you have done.
But mainly I thought about the grief of those who didn’t paint blood over their doorposts and “there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead” (Exodus 12:30). They wailed because they had lost their sons and were hopeless.
During this grief, while the Israelites walked out of Egypt, the Bible tells us that “many other people went up with them” (Exodus 12:38). Maybe these Egyptians had been told about the true God before the tenth plague hit. Or maybe they believed God’s power after the plague. But whatever it was, people who didn’t grow up knowing about the true God were invited to come with believers to the Promised Land.
This is the week after Easter, a time when many walked into church out of curiosity, family commitment, or cultural obligation. Are we ready to follow up with them, inviting them (and their sons) to walk with us to the eternal Promised Land?
Maybe we are, but just because we’re super eager to share Jesus doesn’t mean all people are desperate to hear. I recently heard this: “Fish don’t bite because you’re hungry. They bite because they are.”
So how do you know who’s hungry for Jesus? Think of the people in your life.
Do you know anyone who just moved to your neighborhood? That’s a great time to welcome someone to not only a new home community but also a faith community.
Is anybody going through a rough time right now—an illness, a struggle at work, a death, financial difficulties? These are times when people are ready for something solid in their lives. Share the foundation you have!
Think of people who are in a life-stage transition. From college to career, recently married, a new baby, empty nest, retirement. Again, changes are a great time to share the message of a God whose love will never change.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who realizes that this was a lot of thoughts to think based on one reading from the Bible. She also realizes that the story of the Israelites leaving slavery in Egypt might be new to you. If so, she invites you to read the story in Exodus 12.
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