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Over the last couple of weeks the daily readings set for Morning Prayer have been from Exodus: the long wrangle that Moses and Aaron have with the Egyptian Pharaoh to persuade him to let the Israelite people go from Egypt (designed so that the readings about the Exodus itself coincides with Easter).

Alongside this, out in the real world, union negotiators have (had!) been wrangling with Willie Walsh about conditions of service for BA cabin crews.

I was struck by the parallels.  There was Moses and Aaron traipsing back and forth to see the Egyptian CEO, Pharaoh, trying to negotiate an escape plan for the people of Israel.  Different plans were put on the table, rejected, more plans suggested, all against the background of increasingly more menacing ‘plagues’.  In the end, the death of all the Egyptians’ first-born sons clinched the deal!

The most interesting aspect of this ‘parallel’ was the realisation that we, as human beings, as Christians, often try to ‘negotiate’ favourable terms for ourselves with God.  “I promise to try to be good, if only You will…!”

This is, of course, a pointless exercise.  God always wants the best for us, and always knows what the very best thing for us is.  He knows it better than we ourselves know it.  He also knows that some of the things we might think are good for us are, in fact, in the greater scheme of things, bad for us.  In our negotiations with God, he already has the best plan for us on the table.  His plan, once again, involves the death of a first-born son, his own!

The death and resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate deal-clincher.  In all of our little negotiations with God, He knows that, deep down, what we really all want (what we really NEED) is ‘life in all its fullness’.  And so that is exactly what he offers us, through faith in him and through his own incarnate self/son, Jesus.  He even pays all the costs.  Deal done!

And when we come, Sunday by Sunday, to the ‘table’ of the Eucharist, we accept that deal with thanksgiving and hope, accepting God’s assurance that whatever happens in our lives, his love for us is undiminished and never-ending.

Alleluia!

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