Tanakh: Exodus 14:19-31
The angel of God, who had been going ahead of the Israelite army, now moved and followed behind them; and the pillar of cloud shifted from in front of them and took up a place behind them, it came between the army of the Egyptians and the army of Israel. Thus there was the cloud with the darkness, and it cast a spell upon the night so that the armies could not come near the other all through the night.
Then Moses held out his arm over the sea and the Becoming One drove back the sea with a strong east wind all that night, and turned the sea into dry ground. The waters were split, and the Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
The Egyptians came in pursuit after them into the sea, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and horsepeople. At the morning watch, the Becoming One looked down upon the Egyptian army from a pillar of fire and cloud, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. They locked the wheels of their chariots so that they moved forward with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Becoming One is fighting for them against Egypt.”
Then the Becoming One said to Moses, “Hold out your arm over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians and upon their chariots and upon their horsepeople.” Moses held out his arm over the sea, and at daybreak, the sea returned to its normal state, and the Egyptians fled at its approach. But the Becoming One hurled the Egyptians into the sea.
The waters turned back and covered the chariots and the horsepeople—Pharaoh’s entire army that followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites had marched through the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
Thus the Becoming One delivered Israel that day from the Egyptians. Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the shore of the sea. When Israel saw the wondrous power which the Becoming One had wielded against the Egyptians, the people feared the Becoming One; they had faith in the Becoming One and their servant Moses.
What do we need freedom from? Who is setting us free?
How do we shift the leaders around us?
How does God work in the world?
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
21Then Peter came and said to Jesus, “Guide, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?”
22Jesus said to Peter, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
23“For this reason the reign of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When the king began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, as the slave could not pay, her lord ordered her to be sold, together with her spouse and children and all their possessions, and payment to be made.
26So the slave fell on her knees before the king, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And out of pity for her, the lord of that slave released her and forgave her the debt.
28But that same slave, as she went out, came upon one of her fellow slaves who owed her a hundred denarii; and seizing them by the throat, she said, ‘Pay what you owe.’
29Then her fellow slave fell down and pleaded with her, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30But she refused; then she went and threw them into prison until they would pay the debt.
31When her fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.
32Then her lord summoned her and said to her, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34And in anger her lord handed her over to be tortured until she would pay her entire debt.
35So my heavenly Parent will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your sibling from your heart.”
Queeries for the text:What's so special about 77?
How does a person rack up a debt of 10,000 talents?
How can debts be paid when the debtor is imprisoned? When they are tortured?
Who is master in this story?
What is mercy?
What are your queeries?