Plotting Goodness

Scripture lesson: Exodus 1.8-2.10
The midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.
                            Exodus 1.17     New Revised Standard Version


by Ed Horstmann

Our daily conversations are frequently seasoned by the appearance of the word good. Parents remind their children to be good; in the evening hours a loved one might ask us if we had a good day; and students will often speak of good teachers. It would seem that concerns about becoming a good person and enjoying the goodness of life are at the heart of what it means to be fully alive.

Interestingly enough, Jesus refused to be called good, reserving that designation for God alone. Yet surely he wanted us to express the goodness of God, as a clear glass of water allows light to pass through it. The goodness of God, radiating through the word or action of another is nothing less than an experience of sheer grace.

The Bible is full of people who are not always good in a purely moral sense, but who do uncommonly good things for others, and often without reason or hope of reward. Midwives in ancient Egypt deceived Egypt’s king and helped Israelite women to give birth to their children. Pharaoh’s own daughter rescued an infant boy who would grow to be the leader of a nation.

Where people choose the good, God is active and alive, further enhancing the goodness of a world created in love.

Prayer: O gracious God, restore in us the confidence that our world is a good place in which to live and share life, and help us to be for others an expression of your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


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