Have you ever wondered about that strange symbol displayed on so many medical facilities? The symbol that looks like two snakes wrapped around a staff – what does that have to do with medicine or healing?

A quick web search will produce several possibilities, among them connections to both Greek and Roman gods. One possible connection between healing and the snake symbol (Caduceus) is in this Sunday’s first lesson from the book of Numbers in the Hebrew Scriptures. During the exodus the Hebrew people complained about the food. No matter how miraculously the mana was provided, the same food every day for 40 years would have to be very boring. God was angry about the complaining and sent serpents among the people. The people who were bitten died, and Moses asked God to have mercy. God instructed Moses to make a serpent of bronze and set it on a pole. Everyone who was bitten needed only to look at the bronze serpent to be healed. Once again God allows God’s people a way out of the punishment they deserve for their sins.

This beautiful example of grace shows us God’s love as fully as possible. In this Sunday’s Gospel reading Jesus uses this beautiful story of God’s grace as a foreshadowing of Jesu’s own death on the cross. Jesus calls us to lick at his cross and believe and live.

Pastor Bill