Exodus is my favorite story in the Hebrew Bible. It is a foundational narrative that never ceases to offer rich metaphors, deep challenges and new trajectories. There is a reason we hear the drumbeat throughout the Torah and the rest of Scripture: “Remember, remember, remember when you were once slaves in Egypt.”
I still cannot shake the imagery of the brickyard first introduced to me by Walter Brueggemann. He made the brickyard, the incessant quotas, the fears and power of Pharaoh converge for me into a thicker understanding of the context. He helped me see what was at stake in the space between the brickyards and the Red Sea. This was when I began to develop an appetite (now insatiable) for liberation.
Exodus is a freedom song, an anthem that reminds me of our epic story and it’s salvific arc. Exodus reminds me that we’re not destined for brickyards and unending production, and helps me see why Sabbath matters to everyone. Embedded in Exodus is an archetypal tale of adoption, bicultural living and the struggle to embrace the goodness and complexities of both. Exodus also takes us out of Egypt, across the wilderness into a land where a new kind of trust is required for a new kind of King. There will be a new law and fresh challenges for people now working out their freedom on the other side of the brickyards. It is, indeed, a long walk to freedom (to quote Nelson Mandela).
Most recently I’ve been thinking about the women of Exodus, call them ladies of liberty. There is something about them we dare not miss… and this is what I shared with my friend, Rachel yesterday.
Rachel Held Evans has curated a conversation on her site about Exodus, beginning with Four Perspectives on Exodus. She kindly invited me as a last minute addition. I invite you to click on over and learn from all the offerings…