from Anna Banks
There are several passages of the Bible that I will never forget. I'll never forget them because they were songs my family sang during our daily devotion. I listened to them on tape as I drove the tractor, as I fell asleep at night. Using biblical language, you could say these verses are "written on my heart."
Exodus 15 is one of those passages, specifically the first opening verses of the song Moses and the Israelites sang to God after their close-call, miraculous escape from their abusers, the Egyptians. The song highlights not only the parting (and closing) of the red sea, but goes on to praise God for how this story is inspiring other nations to fear the Israelite God, who is real and powerful. Miriam and the other women sum it up well: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea” (vs 23).
Indeed, in that moment of rescue, it would be hard to miss just how mighty and triumphant their God truly was! In the season of Lent, we pause to consider the story of God and His people, from the beginning of time until now. Before joining the Israelites in praise and exaltation on Easter Sunday, however, we hit the pause button and freeze with the Israelites as they look back with horror at the pursuing Egyptians, and forward at the wall of water trapping them in. In this moment, we realize with them that we, by ourselves, are powerless and vulnerable creatures. Creatures who will, sooner or later, return to the dust from which we were made.
We also look for the Egyptian inside of us; the blind, rebelling, and hard-hearted part of us. We repent, then, joining the Israelites, we ask God to spare and protect us. And as our Easter Vigil service closes, we spread our fingers and thank God for doing just that once again — sparing us, protecting us, making us His very own. We thank Him for a good ending to our story.
The last few months have involved getting married to Jeffrey Banks, moving to East Cambridge, quitting my hospice social work job, and a few other minor changes. Jeff and I enjoy parenting our pup, Ginger, who (we hope) is preparing us to parent a human child due in September!