Same As Ever
January 19, 2021
John Edgerton

Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.’” Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way?" Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ Now get to work.” ~Exodus 5:10-23

You might not know it, but Pharaoh is still alive. Pharaoh is still rigging the game against working people. Pharaoh is still hoarding resources so that a few might live in obscene opulence while many must go without the basics. Pharaoh is still creating and maintaining intolerable conditions for ordinary people, then calling them lazy when pain goads them into action.

Who are you to demand a higher minimum wage? Get back to work.

Who are you to demand equal pay for women? Get back to work.

Who are you to demand leadership roles for people of color? Get back to work.

Pharaoh is still alive and working, that’s the bad news. The good news is that Pharaoh is just the same as ever. Pharaoh is still afraid of people worshiping God—that might remind them to whom they truly belong. When we give ourselves to God, we remember that we belong to the Lord of Heaven and Earth. And so we are truly free. Chains of debt, systemic sexism and institutional racism cannot hold the children of God. Not forever.

Prayer: God of the Exodus, God who breaks every chain, do with us today what You did in ages past.