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The Two Step

“Stand your ground, and watch the Lord rescue you today.” Exodus 14:13b CEB I am not a dancer! They say that confession is good for the soul. I read recently that this phrase is attributed to Scotland and the saying was, “Open confession is good for the soul.” I want to be completely open with you, I am not a dancer. When I was younger my friends wanted to go to the dances at school, and I went with them, but I avoided dancing at all costs. During my twenties, friends wanted to go to clubs and dance, again I went with them, but dancing was never a good experience for me. In fact, my brother-in-law used to joke that all I did was a weird version of bob and sway. We all have our strengths and I am confessing that dancing is not one of mine. While I am being open with my confession … I don’t even watch Dancing with the Stars! Did I mention I am not a dancer? Because I am not a dancer I had to look something up for this week’s article. I had to look up what the “two step” was in dance. I found out there is both a traditional two step and a country and western two step. I studied both, but did not try either, and have come up with a basic understanding of the two step. The two step is a dance consisting of two steps in the same direction. There you have it! Of course, it is my understanding that it is way easier to understand what a dance step is than to actually dance the step. This is why I did not try it. Maybe someday I will give it a try if I can convince Debbie to join me. So why am I sharing all of this? Good question. When I read the Scripture verse above from Exodus it made me think of the two step. The story is that after a long period of convincing Pharaoh to let his people go, Moses and the Israelites are on the move toward the Promised Land. They have barely left Egypt and they face their first test. They reach the Red Sea, some say the Sea of Reeds, and they hear the loud noise of Pharaoh’s army coming on horses and chariots behind them. There is nowhere to go. There is water in front of them for as far as they can see and Pharaoh’s army is behind them and closing fast. What will they do? The people even say to Moses, “weren’t there enough graves in Egypt? Is that why you brought us to the desert to die?” This is when Moses speaks to the people and asks them to do the Israeli two step. Moses tells them to stand their ground and watch the Lord rescue them. I am quite sure this is not what they were thinking he would say. As it turns out it was exactly the right thing to do. It was in that moment, when the people of God stood their ground and watched, that God was able to make a way. It was in that moment that the people of God decided to trust God. It was in that moment they realized they could not get themselves out of the situation and they turned to God. In that moment God says to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” The Lord instructs Moses to raise his staff and the water is parted so that God’s people can cross through on dry land. As soon as the people of God had crossed through the water the seas closed on top of Pharaoh’s army and swallowed them up. The people of God could not see a way out, but where there was no way God made a way for them. Where do you find yourself today? Are you traveling along this journey of life and its smooth sailing? Or are you wading in the waters of the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army closing in on you? Are you in a situation where you cannot see a way forward? Perhaps it’s time to do a divine two step? Maybe this Advent season it’s time to stand your ground and watch the Lord rescue you? Because I have come to understand at least one thing in my faith life, where there is no way God will make a way! I have seen God make a way through a difficult medical diagnosis. I have seen God reconcile broken relationships. I have seen God make a way to recovery for people broken down by addiction. I have seen God make a way through difficult financial times. I have seen God make a way for revival in congregations. No matter where you find yourself today, God is ready to make a way for you. This Sunday we continue our Advent message series Every Story Whispers His Name. The message this week will help us consider how eager God is to make a way for you and me. Not only does every story in Scripture whisper the name of Jesus Christ, but all of the stories represented in the people of St. Andrew’s whisper his name as well. May we all be listening for the whisper. It is a great time to be at St. Andrew’s. God is at work. I can’t wait to see you in church!

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