Are we paying attention to the holy ground beneath our feet? Where do we see burning bushes in our world today, and what are they calling us to do? Do spiritual encounters in our lives have holy consequences in the world around us? Many of us want to understand how to integrate our personal spiritual lives more actively with our engagement in working for justice and the liberation of the oppressed and marginalized. Hard and Holy Work provides a space for just that, helping readers participate in Lent in a new way by becoming attuned to God’s boundless presence in our world and waking up to and taking action for God’s justice through exploring stories from the book of Exodus that have inspired the work of liberation for centuries.
Pastor Mary Alice Birdwhistell and Hebrew Bible scholar Tyler Mayfield reflect on the brave action of the midwives Shiphrah and Puah and other faithful women in Exodus, Moses’ awakening to the plight of the Hebrew people, Moses’ life-changing encounter with the burning bush, the Israelites taking the risk of crossing the Red Sea, and more?alongside numerous contemporary stories?to help readers to see anew and contemplate how God is calling them to respond to what is not right in the world: racial injustice, especially borne by women of color, houselessness, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ communities and people with disabilities.
Lent is traditionally a time of self-reflection and action that prepares followers of Christ to walk more intentionally in the way of God. Hard and Holy Work takes readers through a unique Lenten journey, encouraging us to see those who are marginalized or suffering as God sees them; contemplate how privilege, fear, risk, and feelings of uncertainty can cloud our attention; and practice endurance for the messy middle of justice work, leaning on God’s provision and rest when the way forward is unclear.
Questions at the end of each chapter offer opportunities to discuss, reflect, and respond to God’s call through daily reflections for individuals, prompts for small group discussion, and ideas for taking action in the outward work of justice and liberation.