If we were reading the appointed Old Testament lesson on Sunday, this week's reading would be Exodus 2:1-14. It’s the story of the golden calf. The Israelites, tired, dispirited, discontented with their lot and tired of waiting for Moses to come down off that mountain, prevailed upon Aaron, the high priest to make gods to go before them. “As for that Moses, the man who brought us up out of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him,” they say.
They prevail on Aaron to make them a new god. He melts down their golden jewelry, and forms a calf. They worship, and feast.
The Lord knows, of course. And he is very angry with them. He threatens that his wrath will consume them. Moses pleads with him, and God ultimately relents.
By that time, the Israelites had been journeying for months. They’d endured thirst and hunger. The Lord provided for them. But the foods were unfamiliar. And they were strangers in a strange land. No wonder they were tired, dispirited and discontented.
And perhaps it is no wonder that they strayed from the God who had led them out of enslavement. In time of trial, it is all too easy for us humans to be discontented – to turn to other paths. But those other paths don’t work in the long run. In the long run, there is only the one true God, and his son Jesus Christ.
Tired and dispirited as we may be by the world around us now, let us remember that God is always with us. We always have Jesus’ love.
Thanks be to God.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington