Today in Exodus, someone draws Moses up from out of the waters of the Nile to save him. You may remember the story of this little baby Moses in a basket in the reeds, abandoned on the bank of the Nile.
Water plays central roles in the Bible, not the least of which is new life in baptism. This is a common image in the Bible: being drawn from the water, out of the chaos into new life. From the creation, to our own baptism, our story is one of being lifted to new life.
Think about biblical times. Water was the life-blood of the community. From droughts to plagues, from watering crops to changing water into wine, to be drawn out of the water is to be drawn from the source of life itself. And so it is fitting to have Moses, a part of this story too, and from the Red Sea parting, to that basket in the Nile – for salvation comes from the water.
Oh how we need to be washed as a country, and drawn out of the water again.
Nationally we have drunk the same wine of power that our leaders have drunk, idolizing politicians who lie and boast about lying. They grab for power and covet those who have more power. They sleep with prostitutes and lie to world leaders and we fail to hold them accountable. The self aggrandizement I see is nothing short of idolatry, and somehow we seem to think it is great, holding them up as “strong leaders” when in reality they are mired in sin and idolatry.
How many of the 10 Commandments are optional these days?
Then we turn to our state leaders, who cheat and steal and abuse their power, mishandling money like teenagers with their first credit cards, kicking the can of debt down the road for the next generation to pay. The latest proposal to increase pay for our teachers fits right into this narrative, where the attitude is “to hell with fiscal responsibility and budgets – let’s just say what is politically attractive in the moment.” This too is sin. Not only are we drowning in debt, but drowning in our own fantasies that we can have our cake and eat it too.
We need to be washed – cleansed – washed clean of our thirst for power, and our eagerness to fix things quickly. We need to drink from the well of humility, patience, and peace.
Power comes from the water. This will not simply be a cleansing, but something that ties us to our past and our future. From Jesus’ baptism to the Creation story, to Moshe, to the Nile, to the Red Sea too – out of the chaos will come hope.
Out of the depths, new life and new possibility breaks forth. Water will bring about a renewal of the power of God among us – a sign of salvation, and that the drought of our lives has ended, flooded with newness, vitality, health, and wholeness. Then and only then will we realize we have all been drawn from the water, wrapped into God’s magnificent handiwork, and called forth into daring new adventures, washed as new people, given a new chance, and drown away are the evils of the past.
Come up out of the water with me today.