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Open our vision

Something to read

At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful before God. For three months he was brought up in his father’s house; and when he was abandoned, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. So Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his words and deeds.

- Acts 7:20-22, from the full reading Acts 7:17-29.

Something to think about

Questions… Why did Joseph’s people and the Egyptian people not assimilate? What could they have learned from each other if they had? Why did the Egyptians forget the story of Joseph and why his people were living in Egypt? Why did Pharaoh’s daughter adopt Moses? Why did the quarrelling Hebrews not understand Moses’ actions? Did Moses help address oppression by killing the Egyptian? And why do exactly these types of situations and questions repeat through human history? Why do we forget our stories and not learn from the past?

This passage in Acts is part of Stephen’s defence in an unjust trail before a council acting from a tunnel vision of fear. Stephen calls those acting from fear to remember and open their vision to the wider story of God’s persistent salvation.

Remembering the wider stories of situations in which we find ourselves, both as individuals and as nations, seems to be key in helping us to act in ways which love God, our neighbour and self. And also key is remembering that however messed up humanity makes things, God is eternally persistent in weaving the salvation of abundant life for all.

Something to do

Make time to learn about and remember the story of a person you meet, a plastic item you use, a person who has been displaced, inviting God to use their story in your memory to broaden your perception and strengthen your discipleship.

Something to pray

Holy One,

From the primordial gases to the end of time, you have been there,
journeying with this good earth to bring your salvation of abundant life for all.
Thank you for being with us and never giving up on us.
I truly regret the times when I have tunnelled my vision, forgotten your story and acted in fear.
Help me to be open to your Spirit that I may see and remember myself, others and this planet to be within your story of salvation. Use this memory to empower me to work as your partner bringing abundant life for all.
Enrich me by remembering, honouring and drawing wisdom from the stories of those who are oppressed, that their experiences may bend my perception towards your justice and hope.
In this day ahead open my ears and my hands, to see and serve your salvation on earth.
In the name of Jesus the Christ.

Today’s contributor is Fiona Bennett, a minister of the United Reformed Church serving at Augustine United Church, Edinburgh.