Lenten Devotional April 17, 2022


Psalm 114:1-8 (from the Sunday/Festival Readings)

1 When Israel went out from Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
2 Judah became God’s sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.

3 The sea looked and fled;
Jordan turned back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.

5 Why is it, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
6 O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?

7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.


Mary Washington-Hornezes ’09

My own exodus story goes like this: According to the Division of Youth and Family Services of Essex County, N.J., I was born to “unfit” parents in Newark, N.J., in 1966. Due to “parental neglect,” I was removed from their care at 11.5 months of age. I would never see my biological parents again. During my exodus as a brown-skinned baby with “hazel” eyes and “hair like steel wool,” I was placed in a Catholic orphanage and several foster homes, until I was adopted at age eight.

The three (white) women who lived with my new family were of mixed Jewish heritage (i.e. Jewish, German, Polish). Their parents were “Hidden Children”--a term used for the (mainly Jewish) children who were hidden during the Holocaust, in an attempt to save them from the Nazis. These three women were like my big sisters. I loved them and they loved me. We were different, but I could tell that there was something that made us the same. These women were being hidden, because they were “unfit” too! They were “defective,” just like my biological mother.

When one of the mothers of the three women living with my adoptive family would visit her daughter, Ruth, the mother would always tell the Exodus story—not the story as recited in the Haggadah Jewish historical text, but her own exodus story of the “Hidden Children.”

As we commemorate the work of the cross, on this Easter Sunday, we will celebrate—because we are no longer orphans. 

We have been redeemed!


“Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising if the sun to it’s going down The Lords name is to be praised.” Amen. (Psalm 113:1-3)

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