Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc:
As the politicians and their campaign teams search deep into the backgrounds, comments, associates and unrehearsed gaffes of their opponents, I can’t help but wonder, "Could God stand up to the scrutiny of a political campaign?" What if instead of seeking the big picture, we decided to define God by the worst 30-second snippets we could find?
In last week’s Bible reading we learned that God defies simple definition. I AM WHO I AM, I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE and I WILL BE WHAT THE FUTURE REQUIRES give us a glimpse, but not anywhere near the big picture of God. But while last week gives something mysterious, thought-provoking and comforting, this week’s reading from Exodus 12:1-14, describing the preparation for the first Passover , has to potential to leave me sick to my stomach.
I know that Passover, a commemoration of huge importance in Judaism and Christianity, is about the deliverance of the Hebrew people out of bondage in Egypt. But right there near the end, the description of God saying, “I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt.” Sounds like a sound byte any person who wants to paint God as something horrible would jump at the chance to use. Can you imagine a Youtube clip of God spouting threats of murder of every firstborn in Egypt? What candidate would want to be associated with that?
How do you experience the Passover story? In what way do you experience the story as part of the big picture instead of a short ‘sound byte?’ What would you say to a person who would only focus on that short sound byte instead of the big picture?