The first Plague was when water turned to blood. The Ninth plague was one of darkness. The seven plagues in between were awful, also. The people of Egypt suffered locusts, thunder and hail, gnats, and frogs, even a plague of flies. But the one that was predicted was to be even worse. The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and Egypt; afterwards he will let you go.” At midnight the Lord, in a plague struck down all the firstborn of Pharaoh, and the firstborn of the prisoner, and the firstborn of the livestock.
Yet Moses, forewarned by the Lord, had told the people to mark their door posts and lintels with the blood of a lamb; and the Lord would Passover the houses marked with blood, and the plague of the first born would not touch their houses, and the people in them.
We in this land have been threatened by plague, it is called COVID-19, and we are in the midst of crisis as steps are taken to lessen and remove the threat of the illness and the death it sometimes brings. Just as the Israelites were told what to do, so we were advised, and many of us have taken that advice seriously, and now sit behind closed door, awaiting this new plague to pass over, and leave.
Each day brings news of difficulties in the treatment of those afflicted by the virus; and then if we read far enough into the writing, we find new information for avoiding the contact that can make us carriers of the illness. Everyday we hear of those who have died; but now we are beginning to hear of those who have survived, and are getting better. As each day passes we see signs of progress, that if we maintain our distance, and our cleanliness, and stay apart we will be safe. Every new day gives us new hope, and our closed doors keep us safe, until that hope arrives.
The Plagues in the Book of Exodus passed and the captive People of Israel were set free to leave Egypt and go about creating a new Holy Land; a new place where they could be free to live as they wanted. With joy and the parting of the Red Sea they left their captivity, and began life anew, searching for a new and promised land.
The search was a journey of hardship and years of travail that moulded them into a people who were free to live as God wanted. Free to love God and their neighbors as they loved themselves.
Our journey will begin soon, and God will be with us, too. AMEN
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.