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Posts Tagged ‘the desert experience’


Exodus 13:21-22: The Lord Precedes UsPillarOfFire (2)

First Sunday of Lent, February 22, 2015

In our Noontime reflections we have frequently written about the pillar of smoke and fire that lead the Hebrew people in their faith-journey through desert trials in their search for the land they had been promised.

The Lord preceded them, in the daytime by means of a column of cloud to show them the way, and by night by means of a column of fire to give them light. This they could travel by both day and night. Neither the column of cloud by day nor the column of fire by night ever left its place in front of the people.

Today we reflect on our own Lenten journey, our own penitent search and we ask ourselves a few essential questions.

  • What is it we seek?
  • Is there any part of ourselves we hope to change?
  • Is there a relationship we must amend before healing can take place?
  • Are there actions we need to take before moving forward in our journey?
  • When confused, where do we look for guidance?
  • When alarmed, how do we find peace?
  • Are we as eager to follow God’s lead as we are to ask for God’s protection and help?
  • Is it possible that we cannot see the column of smoke and the pillar of fire even though it constantly precedes us?

If we cannot see ourselves as the Hebrew people who wander in the desert hoping and looking for the covenant promise, we might see ourselves as the Children of God who are well loved and well guided by God. In times of fear, pain and confusion, we might remember that after returning from death to commission his disciples, Jesus comforts and assures them. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”.  (Matthew 28:19-20)

floatingcloud-440x300God is with us always in the person of Jesus and in the healing person of the Spirit. When we consider our worst trials and suffering, we do well to look for the presence of the column of smoke by day and the pillar of fire by night. We do well to allow the Lord to precede us. As we spend time with these verses today, let us be open to the presence of the Spirit.

To read Rabbi Sigal Asher’s thoughts of the column of cloud and fire, click on the cloud image above or visit: http://rhr.org.il/eng/2014/01/finding-our-pillar-of-cloud-and-fire/ 

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Psalm 3:5I lie down and go to sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

There is nothing more we need remember when we put head to pillow to sleep, or when we rise in the morning to begin our day.  In the nighttime, God guards us as the pillar of fire watched over the Hebrews in their exodus from Egypt.  In the daytime, the pillar of smoke leads us as we weave among the perils and hazards of life. 

God says:  Despite what you may feel at times, I really do listen to you, I really do watch over you, I protect you from the things and people who will destroy you entirely.  I guide your feet on their path.  If you follow me, you will not be lost.  I bring you the bread and wine that sustain just as I sent manna and water to my people when they crossed the desert.  You cross your own desert . . . and I am with you.  Look for the column of smoke and follow.  Lie down when the smoke turns to fire; it will keep you warm from the cold of the desert nights.  Rise again with the morning light.  Follow the column again.  I am with you always.

Wishing you warmth in the cold of the desert.  Stay well . . .

To reflect on our lives as a desert experience, click on the image to discover more about dry biomes or go to: http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/desert.htm

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