This passage recounts God’s passing over the blood-marked door frames of the Hebrew homes in a death-dealing mission. Every home that did not have the blood on its doorposts and lintel would lose its firstborn—people and animals.
Passover reminds the Jews of who they are as a people and where they have come from. They are a delivered people. One generation hands the message to the next. In this story, they prepare themselves for leave-taking. The ritual meal conveys the Hebrew people’s preparation for travel and their faith in God’s promises. Each aspect of the meal holds meaning, even the bitter herbs that remind diners of the Hebrews’ suffering under the Egyptians. The fastened belt, the sandaled feet, and the staff in hand signify the haste with which the Hebrews celebrated the first Passover, ready to make their march to freedom. They eat unleavened bread, which reminds them of the quick escape from Egypt.
Through no merit of their own, the Hebrew people stand in a unique relationship with the living God. Their enduring presence reminds the world of who God is and what God has done. And so it is for us.
Christians recognize that the sacrament of Holy Communion echoes much of the sentiment reflected in the Passover. In 1 Corinthians 5:7, Paul calls Christ “our Passover lamb” (NIV). We feast in God’s presence as we reflect on lives filled with grateful memories of past mercies. Like the Hebrews of old, we should be dressed and ready for the journey of spreading God’s love throughout the land.

Holidays (Holy Days) are annual reminders of what God has done for us. How often do you reflect on this fact?

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 18:15-20

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Lectionary Week
September 4–10, 2017
Scripture Overview

Exodus 12 provides instructions for keeping the Passover. Yahweh defends those who seek Yahweh’s shelter. In the end, the people stand liberated from all false loyalties and allegiances, and vow allegiance to Yahweh alone. Psalm 149 sounds a strong note of realism. The rule of Yahweh binds Israel to an understanding that the social order must re ect the moral integrity of the world’s ultimate King. The reading from Romans 13 marks a point of transition within Paul’s letter. Paul here urges his readers to trust that faith in Christ makes a difference. Matthew 18 speaks to the importance of trustworthiness in the life of the believing community and provides measures for the restoration of confidence and for reconciliation.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Exodus 12:1-14. In the Passover meal, no one is excluded from the table. Where in your life can you be more inclusive?
• Read Psalm 149. If you wrote a new song to celebrate and recall a “mighty act of God” in your life, what would the song be about?
• Read Romans 13:8-14. Reading these verses of Paul’s letter to the Roman church, how would you de ne your neighbors? Are there neighbors, whether close by or far away, with whom you need a closer connection?
• Read Matthew 18:15-20. When have you spoken privately to a member of your faith community about an offense against you? What was the result?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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