And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. Exodus 3:9-10
The mass media has done a good job covering the rise in unemployment resulting from the “stay at home orders” issued by state officials all over the US. They are right to cover it thoroughly. It’s an important event and unprecedented in terms of the suddenness of its timing.
What that reporting may be masking is how many people did NOT lose their jobs. Whole sectors of the economy are hard at work. Many of those workers, of course, have had to completely change how they do their jobs. Meeting is out, Zoom is in. The office has been dark for weeks. The living room is humming with computers and conference calls.
There are also sectors of our communities that are working harder than ever. Those in the grocery business are working double shifts. Some portions of he healthcare system have been stretched to breaking point.
Our text for today is from the call of Moses. Do you remember what Moses was doing when he got this call? He was just doing his job, tending sheep, working.
But God chose that day to intervene because God wanted to respond to the cry of His people. Moses had already evidenced an interest in God’s people when he defended an Israelite from being beaten by an Egyptian in Exodus 2:12. Moses knew about the suffering of the Hebrew people.
Moses had a lot of questions about whether He was right for the job but he’d already fulfilled the biggest prerequisite. He had heard the cry, too. He was willing to stop in the middle of the work day and address the question of what to do about people suffering.
We live in a world where there is a lot of suffering, too. And many of you are getting up and doing the work your job requires every day, just like Moses. The only difference between you and him may be whether you have heard the cry of the suffering ones. It’s there, every day. Other people can hear it. Can you? Can you hear it clearly enough, exercise enough empathy, to stop what you are doing in the middle of the work day and commune with God about how you can join Him in addressing it?