It's easy to romanticize the past. Today's reading from Numbers starts with the people wanting to go back to Egypt. They're tired of it. They remember their time in Egypt, choosing to remember the foods they once enjoyed: meat, fish, vegetables and spices. They're tired of the mana from heaven, the desert sands, and the constant wandering. They want to return to a past they understood. They're willing to forget the violence and brutality. They're willing to forget their slavery. The past is colored positivity because the future is so unknown.
The interesting thing about this passage is that even Moses complains. He knows that the people are upset but instead of being upset with people, Moses turns his frustrations to God. He's annoyed that God's anger keeps returning. Moses is tired of being the only person God seems to care about. Moses calls out God, reminding God that the people complaining are, and always will be, God's people. God isn't only Moses' God; God is the God of all. And God needs to start acting like that's who God is.
God listens to Moses and orders Moses to chose 70 elders to co-lead God's people. God isn't taking leadership away from Moses. God, instead, is expanding the opportunities of leadership for all. When the 70 are gathered, the spirit of God comes, and the 70 speak and sound like Moses does. But God isn't limiting leadership to only these 70. All of the sudden, two are discovered in the camp who were not there when the 70 received the spirit. These two, Eldad and Medad, are in the camp, being prophets. Joshua asks Moses to stop them because they are not one of the 70. But Moses refuses. He recognizes what God is doing. Everyone has an opportunity to be God's people, to love like God does, and to make a difference in the ones around them. We're not called to leave God's love to the professionals, the religious, or the more faithful folks. We're called to love, to share God's story, and to care because, in our baptism, we've already been chosen. And God asks us to act like we are.
0 commentsKeep Reading >>