As a child, I loved mysteries. I read the Nancy Drew books, the Boxcar Kids, and loved to watch Unsolved Mysteries with my family. I liked puzzles and trying to figure out the unknown. I liked the search for something that wasn’t apparent. As an adult though, there is significantly more anxiety for me when it comes to the mysteries of life. I am not always excited and eager to search for the life in the times of hardship. Yet this is what we are called to do because this is how we discover God and new life. I find goodbyes hard, as most people do. Yet there is life and beauty to be had in the changes of life. We are reminded of this when we walk outside and see the flowers of summer fading away, the sun setting in the sky earlier, and the leaves on the trees beginning to change color. Though the change is sad and saying good bye to the summer might bring a sense of melancholy for some, there will be new life in the change. Soon the mums will make their appearance, the apples and pumpkins will ripen, and all the smells of autumn will begin to manifest themselves reminding us of just how much we love the fall.
In those times of transition, we are called to have hope in future life in God. We are called to trust in the guidance of the hand of our maker. In life there are those times when situations seem hopeless, times when things just seem to be dying right before our eyes and we can’t get away from the sadness of those endings. This was the case with Moses’ family. The birth of a baby should have been the happiest moment in his parents’ lives but in Egypt under the Pharaoh it was quite the opposite. The birth of their baby boy meant certain death for the child. Under Pharaoh’s decree all boys born to Hebrew families were to be killed as population control.
Moses’ mother and father must have been heartbroken yet they were willing to take extraordinary measures to try and fight this decree. The only option they had was to put their new born child into a basket and to set it a float in the Nile River. The child had a better chance at life in a basket in a river than he did living with his parents who had no control over the actions of the Pharaoh’s soldiers in their community. In most cases, the child probably would not have survived and many children were killed in this way in Egypt at this time.
The situation seemed hopeless. Life for the baby Moses seemed to be over before it even began. His family had little hope of his survival. The situation was dire. Yet God watched over Moses in the basket. He kept the basket afloat. He guided the basket into the presence of Pharaoh’s daughter who took compassion on the child. And in just a little while, what seemed to be just a horrible situation with an even worse ending turned out to be life giving. And this is who Moses would be for the rest of his life. He was the living breathing reminder of life in God in the most unlikely of circumstances.
Where there are endings, there are new beginnings. Where one thing dies, another life will grow. This is the way that God created the world. Our world is a reminder that endings are not permanent, and life never truly ceases it just changes and becomes recreated into something different. We just need to have the courage to face the challenges before us and to trust in the will of God. Anne Frank wrote from hiding in her diary, “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn”. To truly be alive, to truly live life is to discover our own courage and trust in the future that God has set before us, to walk into the future living into the life that God has created inside each of us.
Sometimes humanity makes that life more dangerous, as it did for Anne Frank. But God guided her through her challenges and she never lost her sense of life. God guided her through the torment of Nazi Germany and now her life and her advice comes to us through the decades calling each generation to reflect on our lives. If a small child can find courage and life while being hunted down by the Nazis then we can certainly face our uncertainties, our challenges trusting that God will give meaning to the life he has given to each of us.
God is in the mysteries. God is in the changes. God is in the challenges. God is always present looking to awaken in us a new life. As we learned last Sunday, salvation for Jesus in his time meant to be made alive. God seeks to awaken us to this new life each day. But we need to have hope to trust the path that he leads us down. We need to have enough hope to find fulfillment from God inside of us and not let the actions of the world around us kill that life. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “ Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand”. Paul knew that the believers were to continue to face deadly hardships for their faith. But he believed that the awakened life from within, the new life given to them by God had the power to give them the courage to love others even in the face of persecution. This life when discovered has the power to give meaning when nothing else can.
In our world, there is uncertainty. There is stress in our personal lives and globally. There are hardships to be faced by all of us and it would be easy to see these challenges as deterrents for faith. It would be easy to lose sight of the life that God has put inside each us. But we are challenged to continue seeking. We are challenged to discover the life that has been created for us. We are challenged to trust in the love of God and to walk his path of love and respect into the future. So seek the life that is inside each of you and let it strengthen you in times of trouble, let it be a reminder that we are not alone in our struggles. Pray to God and ask him to teach you how to live more fully. Then go and share that life with others, in community, for the comfort and strength we all need is just waiting to be discovered and embraced.
 Anne Frank, 20th century.
 Romans 13: 11-12, RSV.
(Based on Exodus 2: 1-10 and Romans 13: 8-14)