The first reading for the first Scrutiny is a Moses story. Somehow, it’s vaguely familiar. We don’t usually hear it. But it’s the backstory for a Psalm that shows up a lot in the Sunday readings (including this Sunday).
In the reading, God’s people have left Egypt. They’re on the way to the Promised Land, and they’re complaining to Moses. And who could blame them? The drinking fountains in the Sinai desert were out of order.
God’s people were dehydrated, cranky, and ready to stone Moses.
You’d expect Moses to respond in kind, to be demeaning. Or at least snarky (“It’s a desert, what did you expect?”).
But instead of striking back, Moses does the unexpected. He prays for them. And God responds to Moses’ prayer, in a way that is just as unexpected.
More on this tomorrow.