And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today.” Exodus 14:13
In an age of tablets and personal devices, we have nearly lost the art of the family story. In years gone by, the dinner table was the place for family stories to be recounted. My grandparents were all in their mid-sixties when I was born. The conversations over a meal would often turn to tales of shortages during the Great Depression and the two world wars. My grandfather would tell us about growing up on a farm with ten brothers and sisters. My grandmother would recount going to German service with her grandmother in a horse drawn carriage. Oral tradition has passed down stories of families and faith since our first parents were created by God.
One of the sections of the Easter Vigil is a series of readings from the Old Testament. While the particular readings may vary from year to year, the theme of all of the readings is God’s deliverance of His people. In many respects, this portion of the service is like sitting and listening to the family stories. From God delivering Noah and His family from the flood in the ark to the Children of Israel walking on dry ground through the Red Sea, it is a night to listen and remember how God has rescued His people time and time again. There is also Jonah in the belly of the great fish, Daniel in the lions’ den, and the three men in the fiery furnace who are all saved by God.
While we are living in times of great hardship, it is good for us to listen to God’s Word and be reminded of how God has remained faithful through all generations. For God has promised that He will never leave or forsake His people. Just as God provided for His people throughout the Old Testament and our forebears through wars and pestilence in the past, He is still mighty to save. It is good for us to see beyond this moment by looking back on the past and remembering God’s history of rescuing His people and then looking forward to the glorious inheritance that awaits in heaven. Thanks be to God for those whom He used to be the cloud of witness surrounding us and encouraging us in our faith, even at a time such as this. Dear friends, fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord!
Prayer – Almighty and most merciful God, You have been our dwelling place through all generations. Help us to remember your faithfulness shown to the those who have gone before us in the faith and Your promise to deliver us according to Your gracious will. During this Eastertide, fill us with joy in knowing that Christ has triumphed and that He is living so that we may not despair, but find our comfort and strength in Your beloved Son; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan