When you meet someone for the first time, you often ask a series of questions in order to get to know them better. Things like, “What’s your name?”, “What do you do for a living?”, and “Do you have any hobbies?” These questions give us basic information about this new person—what we should call them,what they do, and what their interests are. However, while these questions are certainly helpful, there is another question we often ask that is arguably most important for truly getting to know someone: “Where are you from?”
This last question is particularly important because knowing where a person is from is the tip of a much larger iceberg: knowing their story. Everybody’s life story begins somewhere, is somewhere, is going somewhere, and once a person begins telling their story, we are immediately introduced to the people, places, and events that have shaped them into the person they are today. Without this knowledge of significant defining moments from a person’s past, we cannot truly know who they are in the present.
So as we think about who we are as the church today, we cannot have an accurate grasp of our identity without having an understanding of the events in the book of Exodus. It is a story that connects us to the story of the scripture, to one another, and even more importantly to the ongoing story of God’s work in delivering slaves into salvation.