The whole chapter is dedicated to the detailed description of celebrating the Jewish Passover – their liberation from Egypt. It is a celebration of God’s work, as he was the sole agent of this deliverance. ‘But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun, ant the season that thou camest fourth out of Egypt.’
This remembrance (long, seven day feasts) heals. It re-centres and renews the person. However, it is not only the individual who needs this renewal. This healing remembrance is equally important for the collective psyche. Without this re-focusing on God as the giver of life, collective consciousness starts malfunctioning. Making our places of worship visible is a vital service to the community. Perhaps, as a modest version of the above ‘statutes of observing the Sabbath’ is to remind society and our neighbours: ‘this is the church’, ‘your liberation happens in it’.
Without this remembering and encounter, as a community, a similar blindness falls upon us which is recorded in the Acts. ‘Then Paul said…O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.’
Again, two passages, a pair from Cranmer’s lectionary, which are not ‘user-friendly’, and we cannot pass by unchallenged.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..