God, we thank You for being near in a world filled with selfish ambition, where too often our tendency is to turn inward and contemplate our own desires despite the suffering that surrounds us. We are grateful that this 40-day journey calls us deeper into a story that reminds and informs us of the truth of who we really are, and that You came into this world to reveal Yourself in love and to lead us in turning outward and sharing that love. We live surrounded by a wealth that defies the imagination of our poorer brothers and sisters, yet we live with the fear that we will never have enough. May we hear Your voice as Moses heard You speak long ago and respond in obedience, sharing in radical ways. Expand our hearts, Lord, that we may learn to truly love. Give us ears to hear You in a new way through the Scriptures and to discover the path of our own exodus. Give us the patience required to learn and the faith to know that You are all that we need. Amen.

—–

This doesn’t stray far from yesterday’s prayer about the pharaohs of our lives, but Seay raises the important point of slavery in our world today. There is a spiritual slavery that we each have – those things that we feel bound to (like chocolate, food, money, pornography, etc) but there is also the reality of true slavery that exists in the world. I took this picture of the chocolate that is in my candy jar in my office because it reminds me of just one example of slavery that exists. Several years ago, my wife introduced me to the concept of fair-trade products – they can be clothing, goods, coffee, tea, even chocolate. One of the blessings of fair-trade is that it comes from those who want to produce these goods, not coming from those who are forced into it. This page describes the reality that many face in harvesting the cacao that leads to the chocolate that we eat, yes even these Kisses in my office. We can each take small actions that can add up to something much larger in the products we consume, the recycling that we do, and the things we ask of our leaders.

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