Devotion – July 15 – Your Actions Matter
Have you ever heard of Moses? Can you tell me anything about him? I bet you have, and I bet you can. I bet you can tell a lot of stories about Moses.
How about his: have you ever heard of Shiphrah and Puah? And, can you tell me anything about them? I bet for the majority of you, you don’t know who they are, or anything they did in their lives.
But, you know what? If not for the actions of these two women (yes, Shiphrah and Puah were women), there would be no Moses stories!
Shiphrah and Puah were midwives in Egypt, assigned to take care of the Hebrew woman. Pharaoh, fearing the increasing size of the Hebrew population, and fearing in time these enslaved people might revolt, gave the orders for the midwives to kill all newborn Hebrew boys. Shiphrah and Puah though, had come to believe in the God of the Hebrews, and because of that, they didn’t follow the new law. It is because of their defiant action against King Pharaoh that Moses was allowed to live after his birth.
Your actions matter! How you live out your Christian faith matters! And it not only matters, but it makes a difference.
For the past week, the devotions have been looking at how we deal with all the chaos going on around us. I shared my belief that the first thing we have to do, is to absorb all the chaos. By absorbing it, we can stop the chaos and or hate from continuing to flow freely among us and those in our community, nation and world. Also, by absorbing it, it enters our soul and there Christ helps us to see and understand in new ways why so much anger and hate is spewing out from people on all sides of a particular issue.
But, we cannot think that is enough. It wasn’t enough for Jesus to pray on Maundy Thursday and come to an understanding of God’s plan, he then had to ACT on that prayer and walk into the reality of his own death on Good Friday. We too, after deep prayer and reflection, confession and absolution, and grasping things from God’s perspective, we must ACT.
It is not okay to hear a racial slur and not act on that behavior. We must tell the person that that isn’t okay. Nor is it okay for any of us to lump all people into a single one category. We have to challenge that thinking and spend the time to find out people’s stories which leads them to speak and act as they do. It is not okay to turn a blind eye to the intricacies of our divide in this country – we have to educate ourselves and one another. Only then do we become the peacemakers that Jesus calls us to be. Only then can we help people deal with a situation in constructive rather than destructive ways.
Without prayer, our actions will not be firmly centered on God’s will. Without action, our prayers are too often are words with no teeth. We need both – prayer and action.
So, I challenge you to pray about any and all things that are dividing our country right now. Take these issues to God in prayer. In the silence, let God then mold your heart with new understanding. Then, go out and put a voice, hands and feet to your actions.
You might not think you’re doing much by your actions, but you really are – remember Shiphrah and Puah?
~ God bless, Dan