I love the exodus story. It's in many ways the first gospel story of the Bible. God liberates his people. God redeems, he makes right, he gives a second chance. In captivity the Israelites are forced to work, building every day. One mentor in my life told me that the thing she fears most in life is monotony, doing the same thing day after day. That's the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. An endless cycle of monotony would be Hell. Without varied experience color turns to grey, beauty loses it's significance.
Here in New England we love our seasons, by the time you get sick of one the next is upon you. Well, winter is a little bit long... but you get my point. We criticize the weather in other parts of the country, California only has two seasons, hot and hotter. We'd say it's insane to live in a place like that, no variety, no change. And that's the beauty of the Exodus story. God brings variety to the lives of his people. Suddenly there's a change, a chance for something new, something bigger. God's desire is for his people to inhabit the "promised land", the land of Canaan. God brings his people through a quick journey to the edge of Canaan. As readers of the Exodus narrative we can feel the tension building. Will Israel be able to fulfill the promise? Will they be able to fulfill the vision? Here's their big chance. Theres such a letdown when they turn back for forty more years wandering in the desert. Like California there's only two seasons in the desert, hot and hotter. Their choice is insane. They've chosen insane.
Even still there's a certain beauty in the story of the Exodus. The Bible is an amazing book. It's stories reach across countless cultural and temporal bounds. We seem to connect far too strongly with the stories in the Bible. I believe that's because the Bible's stories are our stories. What happened in the Bible is happening today.
What's happened in the Bible is happening today.
Further on in the Bible there's this story of a man named Jesus. The Bible proclaims that he's done for us what God has done for the people of Israel. That this man offers us a way to live that equals the best life a human can have. The Bible extends an invitation to follow this man, through trials and death into a more wholistic, loving, accepting, inviting existence. This is a way much different than the monotony of our daily lives. We go from living in hot and hotter, brown and browner, to living in full blooms of yellows and pinks, greens and blues, oranges and reds, to whites and the crisp feeling of winter air. Imitating the life of Jesus sounds like an awesome way to live. But as we follow Jesus let's not get stuck at the border of Canaan. Let's be ever open to the beautiful, changing, robust adventure that we're on. Walking with Jesus means every day is different, every day is new.
May we journey with Jesus. May each day be full of forgiveness, love, and life. May we Grow.