How easily we take something for granted. Water, for instance. Water is a precious commodity on my continent of Africa. More than 300 million of the 800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a water-scarce environment. Because I only have to turn on the faucet to access clean water, I have come to take it for granted, unlike other Africans who realize the value of every drop. My privileged access to water has led to complacency.
Privilege led the Israelites to complacency too. In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul looks back on Israel’s desert wanderings. Before his warning that God will not tolerate sin, Paul establishes some of the privileges God has bestowed on the Israelites. Paul invites reflection on all God has done for them. The Israelites, God’s chosen people, have been redeemed from Egyptian captivity. They stood on the shore when the sea miraculously parted before them. They drank fresh water pouring from the rock and ate sweet manna that faithfully rained down from heaven. They followed the cloud and pillar of fire—God’s constant presence with them. Our lavish God provides not just the necessities but “wine and milk” and “rich food.” Yet, the Israelites took these gifts—and God—for granted.
Believers are also a people of privilege. We too have been redeemed from captivity, fed by the word of God, and guided by the Holy Spirit. Let us pay careful attention to the warning in Paul’s letter and never take for granted the position and blessings we have in Christ; if we do we, like the Israelites, could fall into the sin of complacency.
Today allow the simple act of turning on a faucet remind you of God’s abundant privileges.
Lord, thank you for my many blessings. Forgive me whenever I take them for granted. Amen.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.