11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor.

Many years had passed, and we know nothing of this formative period in Moses’ life, other than that he was raised in a palace as the adopted son of an Egyptian princess. We can only imagine the outstanding education he must have received, and the mind-boggling opportunities that came his way. But steeped as he was in the culture of Egypt, Hebrew blood coursed through his veins, and he recognised “his own people.” He felt their pain and misery. He identified with them. He was a Jew.

There’s a repetition of this idea in Acts 4:23:

“On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.”

They had been grilled and threatened, and you can almost feel something of the relief of getting back to the church family, and being able to pray together about the dark cloud hanging ominously over them all.

I observed in a recent sermon that persecuted Christians appear to prize fellowship more than some of us in the ‘free’ west. Although it is regularly costly and dangerous to get together, they will take risks to do so. We, on the other hand, can be quite blasé about it, and we are often full of excuses. We have other places to be and other things to do.

But there is something immeasurably precious about being able to meet with our “own people” who are God’s people. As Eugene Peterson observed regarding Sunday worship – this is ancient wisdom and we disregard it at our peril!

PRAYER: Lord please forgive us the sin of neglecting the means of grace, and renew our priorities so they align with yours.