Posts Tagged ‘Exodus’


Today our church took us back to the Exodus (the service video if you wish to contemplate on what was shared there can be viewed here). Anyway, it is the start of a series on overcoming fear, which is pertinent within this moment and time when you are seeing the extremist fear reactions we are seeing. These types of reactions do open one up to being susceptible to conversion (radicalization) with the worst outcomes being seen this past week on Capitol Hill in the United States of America. This post is not about the service this morning, but rather using the story from the Hebrew Bible within some reflective and spiritual practices to aid one in understanding themselves in change.

The root though, is the discomfort and fear of the unknown. This is precepted by change, I encourage you to look at the U Theory diagram and see where you are in the process of the change our world is currently undergoing, or to simply hold onto this diagram (and explore it more through resources like Senge’s Presence), as well look at it now and become cursory familiar with the concepts, for it will flow into the next steps:

See the source image

Now we are going to take up a text that is illustrative of the struggle within change, that is Exodus 14:1-31 (The Message), we will be reading this 3 times, but there will be times of reflection between each reading. Take a moment and sit comfortably, as straight up as possible, close your eyes and take deep diaphragmic breaths. Counting up slowly to 10, then back down to 0, do this as many cycles as it takes for you to feel relaxed and disconnected from the cacophony of the household, social media, and world around you. Know that we are in the Exodus story of the Hebrew Bible (you may be familiar with it through such movies as the 10 Commandments, Prince of Egypt, even Veggie Tales). It is a time of slavery, when a person with a disability is called forth by God to go into Egypt and set the people free from an oppressive Empire of the Pharaoh, after many back and forths, 10 plagues, they are free and on the run. Much like a bully who has been confronted though or a leader not knowing when time is up, Pharaoh decides to pursue. The Israelites are now surrounded on two sides by mountains, to move forward is to drown in the Red Sea, and to go back is to either be slaughtered or once more into slavery depending on the ruler’s whimsy. Ever felt like this when a challenge of change arises? Or when a change of life is forced upon us either through enforced retirement? Health (mental or physical) crisis? Layoffs? Loss of life? Or Covid-19 restrictions to keep ourselves and neighbour safe? The fight-flight-freeze response, what emotions are driving this within ourselves? Sometimes we can pinpoint core or raw emotions (i.e. sadness, anger) but there is usually more at play. This is where we are in change as we enter the three hearing cycles and space for contemplation, have paper and pencil/pen/crayons/pencil crayons before you:

First Reading/hearing (if you’re in a household of more than one, take time to have someone read aloud, if not read aloud on your own or use a speaker phone or video call) Exodus 14:1-31, The Message:

1-2 God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon.

3-4 “Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are lost; they’re confused. The wilderness has closed in on them.’ Then I’ll make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn again and he’ll chase after them. And I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to put my Glory on display. Then the Egyptians will realize that I am God.”

And that’s what happened.

5-7 When the king of Egypt was told that the people were gone, he and his servants changed their minds. They said, “What have we done, letting Israel, our slave labor, go free?” So he had his chariots harnessed up and got his army together. He took six hundred of his best chariots, with the rest of the Egyptian chariots and their drivers coming along.

8-9 God made Pharaoh king of Egypt stubborn, determined to chase the Israelites as they walked out on him without even looking back. The Egyptians gave chase and caught up with them where they had made camp by the sea—all Pharaoh’s horse-drawn chariots and their riders, all his foot soldiers there at Pi Hahiroth opposite Baal Zephon.

10-12 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them—Egyptians! Coming at them!

They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt—we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.’”

13 Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again.

14 God will fight the battle for you.
    And you? You keep your mouths shut!”

15-16 God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.

17-18 “Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase—I’ll use Pharaoh and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen, to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am God.”

19-20 The angel of God that had been leading the camp of Israel now shifted and got behind them. And the Pillar of Cloud that had been in front also shifted to the rear. The Cloud was now between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. The Cloud enshrouded one camp in darkness and flooded the other with light. The two camps didn’t come near each other all night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and God, with a terrific east wind all night long, made the sea go back. He made the sea dry ground. The seawaters split.

22-25 The Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground with the waters a wall to the right and to the left. The Egyptians came after them in full pursuit, every horse and chariot and driver of Pharaoh racing into the middle of the sea. It was now the morning watch. God looked down from the Pillar of Fire and Cloud on the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. He clogged the wheels of their chariots; they were stuck in the mud.

The Egyptians said, “Run from Israel! God is fighting on their side and against Egypt!”

26 God said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea and the waters will come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots, over their horsemen.”

27-28 Moses stretched his hand out over the sea: As the day broke and the Egyptians were running, the sea returned to its place as before. God dumped the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. The waters returned, drowning the chariots and riders of Pharaoh’s army that had chased after Israel into the sea. Not one of them survived.

29-31 But the Israelites walked right through the middle of the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall to the right and to the left. God delivered Israel that day from the oppression of the Egyptians. And Israel looked at the Egyptian dead, washed up on the shore of the sea, and realized the tremendous power that God brought against the Egyptians. The people were in reverent awe before God and trusted in God and his servant Moses.

This is the time in the quiet, to feel what is bubbling up for you in this moment of change in your life, what emotions are raw and under the surface or at the boiling point? Take time to draw, scribble, colour, write out what you are feeling. Use the emotion wheel below then to find the emotions that come up, and see what others are connected to them, anything else to add to/discern about your feelings, once we know what our heart/soul song is, we can work forward:

Take the most present and precise emotion forward with you as you enter back into the story, taking a rotation count of deep diaphragmic breaths counting up to 10, then back down to 0 as you are an Israelite in the moment on the shore.

This is the moment in time we are in, on the banks wondering what is going to happen? Where will we be? Are we ready to step forward? As the Red Sea parts, and it becomes like an aquarium for the lie thriving within, you have a choice to step into the passage, stay on the shore, or turn back to Egypt (what is known). Reading/Hearing #2 Exodus 14:1-31 the Message:

As you slowly come out with the emotion you took with you, reflect on the U Theory and where you are within it at this point and time in your personal story.

See the source image

Take time to reflect and write-draw-scribble-colour why you are where you are on the U? What is holding you there? What past story is holding you in place, what story will move you forward? Is there a new emotion present you would like to take with you into the third hearing?

As we prepare for the final hearing/reading, take a moment to re-centre yourself. Take the deep diaphragmic breathing count up to 10, then back down to 0. This time take into the story where you are on the U, what you are feeling. As you hear the third hearing, focus on the collapsing waters on the old way, the washing out of the pursuers, that which calls you back to “how it has always been done”, or puts qualifiers on love of neighbour. As we enter:

Third reading/hearing Exodus 14:1-31 as the waters crash behind you as you fearlessly take the step into the unknown…what is being washed away?

Take a moment to draw and write these out. This is what is holding you back now, take a moment to reflect on these “guardians” that have carried you through your life to this point. Honestly thank them, then destroy them as a moment of release.

For crossing through the Red Sea, is about releasing that which enslaved. Now the question arises, what is the below and above surface work you need to accomplish to be in the Promised Land? For it is about the journey….


Mendicant. It is Latin, and as such appears to hold airs of awe-ness. Yet when the word is translated it means open hand or to be more abrupt how it was used back in the 13th century for Francis of Assisi and his circle of friends—pan handler, beggar. That which we attempt to continually criminalize today. Those that seek a share of blessings of others, and then continue to spread out from there.

For Franciscans Mendicant is a call to remember where the blessings and possessions flow from. The Source of the Holy Mystery that will continue to provide, given that the flow is continued within the blessings to continually move out and not store up.

The teaching of the Exodus Story as the people wandered, Quail and Manna was sent each day to be gathered, on the 6th day, there was more so an extra portion could be gathered. When there was attempt to horde, it rotted.

In Acts 5:1-10 the physician Luke recounts this tale of the early church:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

A desire to remind the community the source of blessings, the choice to openly share, the need not to lie or horde. The choice to live out of the love of the Holy Mystery within. If you would like a bonus spiritual practice, take this story and write it from the perspective of Ananias or Sapphira, what is revealed about your own journey?

These thoughts bring us into meditating upon the Aquarian gospel 111:

Jesus teaches. A man requests him to compel his brother to deal justly. Jesus reveals the divine law, the power of truth and the universality of possessions. Relates the parable of the rich man and his abundant harvest.

1. And Jesus taught the multitudes; and while he spoke a man stood forth and said,
2. Rabboni, hear my plea: My father died and left a large estate; my brother seized it all, and now refuses me my share.
3. I pray that you will bid him do the right, and give what is mine.
4. And Jesus said, I am not come to be a judge in such affairs; I am no henchman of the court.
5. God sent me not to force a man to do the right.
6. In every man there is a sense of right; but many men regard it not.
7. The fumes that rise from selfishness have formed a crust about their sense of right that veils their inner light, so that they cannot comprehend nor recognise the rights of other men.
8. This veil you cannot tear away by force of arms, and there is naught that can dissolve this crust but knowledge and love of God.
9. While men are in the mire, the skies seem far away; when men are on the mountain top, the skies are near, and they can almost touch the stars.
10. Then Jesus turned and to the twelve he said, Behold the many in the mire of carnal life!
11. The leaven of truth will change the miry clay to solid rock, and men can walk and find the path that leads up to the mountain top.
12. You cannot haste; but you can scatter forth this leaven with a generous hand.
13. When men have learned the truth that bears upon its face the law of right, then they will haste to every man his dues.
14. Then to the people Jesus said, Take heed, and covet not. The wealth of men does not consist in what they seem to have–in lands, in silver and in gold.
15. These things are only borrowed wealth. No man can corner up the gifts of God.
16. The things of nature are the things of God, and what is God’s belongs to every man alike.
17. The wealth of soul lies in the purity of life, and in the wisdom that descends from heaven.
18. Behold, a rich man’s ground brought forth abundantly; his barns were far too small to hold his grain, and to himself he said,
19. What shall I do? I must not give my grain away; I must not let it go to waste; and then he said,
20. This will I do; I will tear down these little barns and built up larger ones; there I will store away my grain and I will say,
21. My soul take now your ease; you have enough for many years; eat, drink and fill yourself and be content.
22. But God looked down and saw the man; he saw his selfish heart and said,
23. You foolish man, this night your soul will quit its house of flesh; then who will have your garnered wealth?
24. You men of Galilee, lay not up treasures in the vaults of earth; accumulated wealth will blight your soul.
25. God does not give men wealth to hoard away in secret vaults. Men are but stewards of God’s wealth, and they must use it for the common good.
26. To every steward who is true to self, to other men, to every thing that is, the Lord will say, Well done.

Get comfortable, and prepare to enter the story. Slow your breathing down. Feel the chair you are in melt away. Feel the room fall away. Move back into the time of the ancestors. In the gathered market place, you have travelled from a small centre to hear the travelling labourer turned teacher. The words you have heard of this man speaking have shaken up the wealthy in your town, and scare the religious leaders.

 

  1. As you hear Brother Jesus for the first time, let the words truly sink in. When were you lost in the mire? When were you like the farmer trying to horde away all the crops and letting them rot instead of trusting provision. What emotions does it bring up? What memory really sticks out? Sit with the memory and what happened within it? What is revealed of your heart in these moments in your journey?
  2. As you hear Brother Jesus for the second time, let the words truly sink in. When has the clay slipped away to allow you to ascend the mountain top? What memories come up in the moment when you know you were in sync with the Holy Mystery, a true mendicant? Stay with the feelings. What opens within your soul?
  3. As the words tumble from Brother Jesus’ lips a third time Let the heart of the Holy Mystery become one with yours. Where are you being called to wealth and wisdom within your vocational life? Sit with this call and let it resonate within you. Are you ready to take the first step?

Slowly bring your breathing back to normal. Feel the dust vanish. The noises of the market place vanish. You travel forward in time, feel the room reshape around you. Your chair again. When you are ready open your eyes.

The call is as simple as when Jesus offered Peter the keys to the kingdom. He stands in your heart, all is connected. The Cosmic Christ offering you the keys to the kingdom. Are you ready:

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e]loosed in heaven.”

-Matthew 16:17-19

To answer are you ready for your call, re-read the passage above from Matthew, only replace Simon, Son of Jonah, with your first name and who your parents are, replace Peter with your name. Now re-read it 3 times, pausing each time to let the words and sentiment truly set in.

Our Brother Jesus has laid out a path of unity and oneness for the family of humanity, it is simply bound together in L-O-V-E. The Cosmic Christ holds the key to unlock Universal love for you.

Are you open to stepping out of materialism, and into the Holy Mystery?


Star dust. That is what lives within each of us. A divine spark of the vast universal mystery. The Holy Breath is what the ancient Hebrew poets spoke of in Genesis 1 in being created in the image of the Holy, life breathed and blessed as very good.

This was the story of the people, the family, journeying into the Exodus. Where hearing ancient words we can accept different roles that resonate within each of us. Think of this time. Relax and breathe into calmness, let peace wash over you. Allow the room you are in to vanish. Let the sounds of ancient wilderness, beasts, children, families in panic, hoof beats chasing you. Former slave, saved, promised paradise, running, following one once raised by Pharaoh, rescued from a genocide of male children. At the edge of the Red Sea, confronted with selfish absorption (sin) or living out of the star dust (Holy Mystery) within.

Hear the passage three times, each time take time to ponder a question.

Miriam sings a song of victory. The song. Jesus reveals the symbolic character of the journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaam.

1. And Miriam stood before the surging crowd, and casting up her eyes to heaven she sung anew the song of victory:
2. Bring forth the harp, the vina and the lyre; bring forth the highest sounding cymbal, all ye choirs of heaven. Join in the song, the new, new song.
3. The Lord of hosts has stooped to hear the cries of men, and lo, the citadel of Beelzebul is shaking as a leaf before the wind.
4. The sword of Gideon is again unsheathed.
5. The Lord, with his own hand has pulled far back the curtains of the night; the sun of truth is flooding heaven and earth;
6. The demons of the dark, of ignorance and death, are fleeing fast; are disappearing as the dew beneath the morning sun.
7. God is our strength and song; is our salvation and our hope, and we will build anew a house for him;
8. Will cleanse our hearts, and purify their chambers, every one. We are the temple of the Holy Breath.
9. We need no more a tent within the wilderness; no more a temple built with hands.
10. We do not seek the Holy Land, nor yet Jerusalem.
11. We are the tent of God; we are his temple built without the sound of edged tools.
12. We are the Holy Land; we are the New Jerusalem; Allelujah, praise the Lord!
13. And when the song was done the multitudes exclaimed, Praise God.
14. And Jesus said, Behold the way!
15. The sons of men have groped for ages in the darkness of Egyptian night.
16. The Pharaohs of sense have bound them with their chains.
17. But God has whispered through the mists of time and told them of a land of liberty and love.
18. And he has sent his Logos forth to light the way.
19. The Red Sea rolls between the promised land and Egypt’s sands.
20. The Red Sea is the carnal mind.
21. Behold, the Logos reaches out his hand; the sea divides; the carnal mind is reft in twain; the sons of men walk through dry shod.
22. The Pharaohs of sense would stay them in their flight; the waters of the sea return; the Pharaohs of sense are lost and men are free.
23. For just a little while men tread the wilderness of Sin; the Logos leads the way;
24. And when at last men stand upon the Jordan’s brink, these waters stay, and men step forth into their own.

Aquarian Gospel Chapter 110

  1. As you hear the story the first time. See through the heart and eyes of Pharaoh. One possibly raised with Moses who now has stolen “property”. Your anger burns at the terror reaped on your nation by plagues, blinded by the rage of grief that shattered your world view. When in your life have you lived/experienced as Pharaoh? Spend time in that moment of paradigm shattering rage…what did your heart learn? What shaped your soul? Sit with these answers awhile.
  2. As you hear the story a second time, it is your voice ringing out the victory song. A child when you played the oppressor, giving your brother to the Pharaoh’s daughter…rescued and saved…savvy enough to get your own Mum into the palace as Nanny. Now standing at the riverbank you await the true victory you began to parlay years ago, living into love. Surrendering into the divine flow of the star dust. Remember a time, when despite the odds against love and justice, your victory song came out? What changed in your heart in that moment? What shaped your soul? Sit with these answers as you prepare for the third hearing.
  3. Will the Red Sea part? Will you die? Trepidation and fear. Looking back on the familiar pain to live into, or the unknown of release and freedom form the shackles that hold you. As you hear the words a third time, know your Pharaoh truth, know your Miriam victory song. What emerges as the shackles you must shatter today? What must you step into, trusting like the sea it will part letting you be free?

Sit with your riverbank. Are you ready to step out?

Feel the wilderness fall away. Return your breathing to normal as silence reigns. Peace in your heart.

  1. Behold, the Logos reaches out his hand; the sea divides; the carnal mind is reft in twain; the sons of men walk through dry shod.
    22.The Pharaohs of sense would stay them in their flight; the waters of the sea return; the Pharaohs of sense are lost and men are free.
    23. For just a little while men tread the wilderness of Sin; the Logos leads the way;
    24. And when at last men stand upon the Jordan’s brink, these waters stay, and men step forth into their own.

-110:21-24

Are you ready to step forth into your own?

To be finally free of your Pharaoh?


English: Grande Prairie Library building taken...

Image via Wikipedia

The final morning of the Emerge 2012 conference. The Grande Prairie Worship band rocked it for almost 90 minutes, and you know it’s an energetic set when both Preacher_boi and Princess JLAAR are rocking out with the college and teenage crews. Alan Jones, the pastor from GP brought an amazing story from the perspective of the Israelites in the midst of the Exodus that captivated the imagination. Juli and her crew did an amazing time planning and executing a great weekend to deepend one’s understanding of God’s love.

The invitation to radically live into God’s love and Jesus’ inclusion…to deepen your faith and become the disciple you are truly called to be by entering into Bible College.

Let me know if you want me to be apart of Emerge 2013!


The Gospel of Luke is an intriguing political statement (taken of course from the concept that Gospels were political edicts from the office of Emperor).  There is a new way to look at the Temptation in the wilderness.

See the wilderness story is to bring the hearer back to the story of the Exodus, the wanderings for 40 years in the wilderness, the times of scarcity of resources, and most importantly the removal of civilization from  and all its trappings from the people so it was only you and God. This is what the hearer would recollect in these 40 days, for the modern hearer what would equate to a fast that would truly renew our relationship with God and remind us of wilderness wanderings? Truly a vacation from work where we unplug from the office, the fast from busyness.

This then enters into specific temptations that when looked as poetic devices reveal a deeper telling.

At the moment of being parched and hungry, when in the Exodus the people whined to go back to Egypt (their challenge of faith), Satan (the Adversary, the Temptor, Lucifer, The Devil) the fallen angel who works for God/was created by God, not as we like to believe God’s equal in godhood…comes upon Jesus in the wilderness and lays out the temptations.

The first being to turn stones to bread. What is in this challenge? You are hungry Jesus, take the easy way out. Use the power you have, you are more important than even the Emperor of Earth, use that power and do what is right within you power, never asking why or should I, just be black and white in your logic.

Jesus answer is simple, he reminds himself, the hearer and the Devil (much like Job in the Book of Job) that there is more to life than material fulfillment and true contentment does not come from bread, the true meaning of Manna from Heaven is revealed as the Christ within.

The next time Devil takes Jesus up to the highest point to look at the collective Kingdoms of the World. The short line from A to B, and the wrong line. For the hearer a proposal reminiscient in the Garden of the Serpent to Eve, “Did God really say…”  What Devil presents is the false argument of power…Worship me Jesus and all of this will be yours.

But Jesus is an astute one and remembers the story of humanity leaving the Garden in their original blessing. Clothed by God, warned o real life, and then given the world–dominion (authority/care) so why would Jesus need to worship the Devil to gain what God had already given? He wouldn’t and he responds with Love God with your everything, the first part of the Shema. The answer is to direct them to the breath of life and the promise held within that.

The final temptation of this round. The Shrewd snake comes back with a practice the righteous used then and today, the ability to use the name of God in Vein, misquote scripture to shatter the hope someone carries within them, to have them not acknowledge the Spirit within and the hope within and to make irrational choices of death.

As Devil asks Jesus to throw himself down for the angels will save him. Jesus response is simple, do not test God. Simple? Percisely, why do we play parlour games with faith, if you do this then I will believe, rather than just look at inherent created nature.

The story ends stating that Devil will be back again. Some historians have said this happend when Christ was on the cross or in Gethsemane, I challenge that. I think it happened each time Jesus was rejected, cursed, spat on, beaten, with each healing, miracle, when Judas sold him out, each time he prayed, and every breath he took. For you see in those moments-each life moment we have choices to make in our eternal struggle of God/Devil and who we elect to serve, true love or false power. And with each thing that happens to us, our choice is how to respond. That is the key of the story, that it is not events when challenges confront our beliefs, but when we live our lives authentically.