April 8, 2015
It was correct to assume God would be speaking in this place. It began this morning at breakfast with the bishop and the others new to this state since last year. It is good to be meeting new colleagues!
Then, we heard two dynamic speakers. The first connected the Word with song, walking us through a particularly rich hymn, We Know That Christ Is Raised, helping us discover the depth of theology found there.
The second speaker talked about the Wilderness. His Hebrew word study of “wilderness” as referred to in the book of Exodus could actually mean a place apart from, or without, word(s). He went on to say that wilderness is more than just a geographical place, but a place between bondage and freedom. A place between the old way of life and the new. A place of testing.
Then he spoke about the temptation of people in the wilderness to want to get back to where they came from. That even as bad as it was in the old place, they desire to get back to the familiar, to what they had before that was “free,” even though it came with a huge price - bondage. Partly, he reasons, is that while in slavery or bondage, nothing is ever our fault; we can blame things on someone or something else.
These were powerful words and understandings for me. Perhaps the wilderness of leaving one place for another speaks more strongly to me right now, but I’m thankful for words to put thoughts into expression. And I look forward to the next parts of the lectures to hear more words of hope. For I believe with all my heart that God does not ever abandon us - no matter where, or what, is our wilderness!