Thursday, February 26, 2015

When Moses Takes God to Task

The PCUSA Lectionary today (2.26.15), Deuteronomy 9.23-10.5 ... 
Is, in its own way, hilarious ... as Moses recounts his intercession on behalf of the people when God was ready to give up on them, send 'em packing, and start all over again with Moses, and from him, make a new nation.
But Moses has to remind God that the "other nations will talk" ... God will look bad if an obstreperous people were too much for God to handle. "What will the neighbors think?"
But the point is made: We can't always choose the optimum moment; we can only work with what we have. And as for people? Well, damnit all, they're pretty much, mostly, just like you and me. As I once heard about marriage success, Harry stands in front of the mirror every morning and says, "Harry, you ain't no bargain!"
Well, the people were no bargain, and working with them, no cakewalk. And not even God can choose an alternative universe. God is stuck with this one, this realm, this moment, this people. This is the only story there is, and God has to work with it. No matter what. There is no walking away from this one!
And Moses says to God: "This is all there is; there ain't nothing, or no one else. Work with what you have, or give up on being God."
Delightful in the brusque manner in which Moses takes God to task - there isn't any time left, and Moses doesn't mince his words.
If this were a stage play, I'd see and hear God pause, take a deep breath, and mumble to Moses, "All right. Let's get on with it. Make two more stone tablets, and I'll rewrite the words as I did before." And, then, with a little more confidence, "You're right Moses. You know more about this god-thing than I sometimes do. Thank you ... now, let's get back to work."

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