The reading from the Old Testament today continues the story of God’s people as they wander through the wilderness towards the promised land. This event in the history of God’s people is a famous one. Moses goes up a nearby mountain to talk to God and is given the ten commandments (Exodus 32:1-14). Moses must have been gone for a while because the people started to believe that something had happened to him. They doubted God’s provision and ability to keep the promises made to them. So they abandon God completely and make up their own god. However, despite this, God continues to provide. Hence the Psalmist can say – give thanks to the Lord for the Lord is good; God’s love endures forever (Psalm 106:1). This week is a chance to wonder and ponder this well-known story afresh.
We also come to the end of Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Philippians 4:4-9). It is incredibly strong and encouraging. Paul urges listeners to rejoice in the Lord and to not be anxious about anything. Instead, he says that in every situation present your requests to God, and the peace of God which is beyond all understanding will be given to you (Philippians 4:6-7). What do you think of when you hear the word peace? Often it’s something we strive for individually and collectively. However, Paul writes that it is a gift! A gift that is beyond any kind of human understanding or effort. What an amazing relief!