Scripture Reading: Exodus 32:1-14
But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.” ’ And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people. –Exodus 32:11-14
God was none too thrilled with the Israelites creating a god made of precious metals. Moses implored the Lord to give the Israelites a second chance, and God did. The God of second chances is the same God in whose image God made us. We are called to be a people of second chances also. Our world, particularly recently, follows baseball’s procedures, three strikes and your out, closer than God’s. We send people to prison for non-violent crimes without the benefit of much if any restorative services, like mental health or substance abuse treatment, remedial education or work training. When we release them from prison, we stamp them with “felon” on job applications whether their crime has any relationship to the work they pursue.
Moses reminds God of God’s promise to Abraham of a land of milk and honey, and we inherited that promise through Jesus Christ. Christ calls us to a partnership in building a world where all have enough as a part of an abundant life, which requires all to participate as fully as possible in its actualization. Empowering others to that full participation is a part of that calling too.
Prayer: God of Justice and Mercy, help us reflect your justice and mercy too. Amen.