Thought for the Day from Hayley Matthews of All Hallows’:
I shall never forget sitting atop Mount Sinai as dawn rose across the dessert, which was as mountainous and rocky as I was naive about the soft smooth, vast tracts of sand I had been expecting. The rocks looked completely grey and dull; it was not an inspiring view. Then, as if by magic, as the sun rose, the rocks took on a warm golden hue, rose-tinted in some places, blazing metallic bronze in others. The light had completely transformed something that had been there all along; turned it from something that was dull, hard work and completely uninspiring to something that made one’s heart beat faster; made one’s soul sing; compelled one’s minds to acts of courage and integrity. I guess we might call it ‘holiness’.
That’s precisely what is happening in the pairing of our two readings this morning; in Exodus the law is inscribed onto two tablets of stone as the people make a covenant with God through Moses and the sacrificial blood of the perfect firstborn lambs. It is all about hard work and obedience. In all reality, probably not the least bit inspiring but grey, and dull like that pre-dawn stone. Then the light appears in Mary, as her firstborn Lamb, conceived by the Holy Spirit of God, stirs a song of the Spirit in Elizabeth that causes them both to rejoice that the deadly legalism under which they have been living has become transfigured into Spirit and song as God remembers His side of the promise and keeps it. At this point, not only does God know we have failed, but that we have failed time and time again – and always will. Yet still God keeps His promises to us. God’s unchanging, eternal love, grace and mercy forever reaching into our hearts and souls and minds, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and his descendants, forever.
- Let’s sit quietly and hold the thing we find most difficult about faith/discipleship before God. Try to imagine it as a lump of rock – perhaps it seems so insurmountable to you that it is huge, like Mount Sinai. However large or small it is – name it.
- Let’s watch the light of perfect Lamb of God rise over the rock. Watch it being transformed into something beautiful. How does it change? What does it look like? How do you feel?
- Listen to God and hear what the Spirit says to you about how things might now be different. How will it change the way you live your Christian life?
- Let’s pray for those individuals and people-groups who have been imprisoned by the law; religious, civil or criminal, asking that they might be freed and transformed by Christ’s light.