This is the second in a five part series, “Unexpected Treasures in the Desert.” It is a sermon series for the congregations I am serving, known collectively as Prairie Faith Partners. This series is provided to help you navigate the COVID-19 epidemic “wilderness” we are experiencing together.
For each sermon I am writing my own reflections on the texts, which I like to do in free verse (below). To read the sermons, you can go to my “Lectionary Sermon of the Week” page, even though these aren’t on the lectionary texts. I’m afraid this page will change every week, so you might want to view the messages on the PFP YouTube page. I would appreciate your comments in this space. Thank you for visiting!
It was one of the best days in all those forty years, the people bringing their finest. First the gifts hastily pressed into their hands as their neighbors begged them to leave so their land could heal from the plagues. Easy come, easy go. But it didn’t seem enough. Gratitude turned their eyes to the treasures long hidden since the days of freedom in Egypt, unearthed and packed along with the unleavened bread. Baubles that graced great-grandmother’s ears. Jewels, fine dyed thread, intricately carved acacia. Offerings mounded high for Bezalel to use for the tabernacle project. Buoyed by their generosity Moses went to his tent found the old box sat down and blew off the dust drew out his mother’s bracelet. A gift from Pharaoh’s daughter to Jochebed for being Moses’ wet-nurse. He was told he fingered it as he fed at her breast. She used it to teach him about circles but he was more taken by its beauty, captivated by its strange, golden glow. Jochebed said it was very valuable, but it was nothing compared to him and his brother Aaron and their sister Miriam, her greatest treasures. And so he brought it too along with memories of his mother and placed it on the pile. On the day of the dedication he inspected all the furnishings ran his hand over the fabrics admired the great altar for burnt offerings, the basin, the menorah, the table. When he came to the altar of incense the rings on its side caught his eye— familiar carvings in gold. Jochebed’s bracelet multiplied, their details blurred by his tears that fell and blessed the altar anointing it with his mother’s love.