Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 4 His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.
I remember hearing this story when I was in 4th grade in public school. In those days, the teacher read a passage from the Bible (of course the KJV) and then we all stood next to our desks and said the Pledge of Allegiance. This was the first thing in the morning ritual.
This story particularly stands out in my mind because we never spent much time on the Old Testament in these classroom readings, In my recollection most teachers chose readings from the New Testament. But for some reason the Old Testament was all this teacher ever read. And I know she read this passage several times during the course of the school year. As I found out years later, this teacher was Jewish. In those days I didn’t know much about what being Jewish was. For that matter, in those days, I didn’t know what a Presbyterian, or Methodist, or a Lutheran was either. My family was Catholic. This was the beginning of my understanding that there were other kinds of people out there. I lived a sheltered early life.
I have always had a “mind that was made for radio” in that I would visualize stories being read with pictures that were vivid and often extravagant. In this scripture, I could see a lake with cat tails growing wildly. Snuggled in an eddy of this lake was a glued together boat made of leaves floating in the water. I can recall that it conjured a million questions. “How is this baby eating?”, “Why doesn’t he float away?”, “What’s going to happen to this kid?”. I know I never asked anyone those questions. I just troubled over them in my mind. I’m not sure I ever resolved those questions, but the story has stuck with me. Happily, Moses, like that little boy in 4th grade, got out of the boat, off the lake and lived a life!
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.