A post by guest blogger, Glen Dornsife, M.Div. student at Northeastern Seminary.
Having the opportunity to be a student at Northeastern Seminary has offered me the chance to involve myself in something I would otherwise have not known about—the Lectionary. If you are not familiar with what this is, it is a formulated list assigning scripture to certain days or weeks throughout the year. It may be a mere coincidence, but when I actually follow the assigned scriptures I find myself immersed in a divine rhythm. Recently, I’ve begun to wonder if my professors have intentionally assigned my readings and school work to coincide with the lectionary. I am not saying that if you start reading the lectionary tomorrow you will have the same “results,” but maybe if you register to be a student at NES while reading it simultaneously you will!
In Exodus we read about how God shows off His love by delivering the Israelites from Pharaoh. The Red Sea moment is God basically saying, “I am going to be your God from here on out.” “I want the whole world to know that you are mine, and I am yours.” God’s exodus moment with them is similar (I think) to when a couple drops 20K on their wedding just to share their vows with each other. After the Israelites take a big leap of faith into the water, they spend their honeymoon on the romantic eastern beaches of the Red Sea. They stayed there for awhile in the afterglow of knowing that their God was a miracle-working provider. Later, they would declare He was their YHWH-Nissi, “The Lord is my Banner!” Israel’s deliverance echoes throughout history God shouting the words, “I Do!”
Relational disharmony is often caused by lack of trust. Distrust brings us to the point where we no longer desire to move forward in our relationship. It is hard to imagine not wanting to move forward with God after such an amazing beginning, but this happens in our journey more often than most would like to admit. The moments of distrust usually arise from something little that causes us to question the other person. This is where we will pick up the Israelites Exodus story.
You see a few chapters later the people begin to grow weary and tired of their God-sized relationship. Their basic needs weren’t being met! They were thirsty. As a result, they began complaining to Moses that he and God were leading them right to their death. They had forgotten that a few days ago God spent 20K on their deliverance ceremony just to let them know He loved them.
This morning I noticed even in the very old Old Testament God has always been saying to His people, “I Do!” Our faith journey, much like the Israelites, is a difficult one that requires our hearts to be set on a pilgrimage. The circumstances of life often take us through fertile and dry lands and we must remember that even though our circumstantial feelings may contradict the faithful love of God, YHWH is for us! The Lord is your Banner! His love, provision, grace, and mercy were certain then, and will always be, under the victory banner we have in Christ.
To read a bit more about the Israelite’s story you can find it in Exodus 17 and Psalm 95, which is found in the Lectionary under the “Third Sunday in Lent.” To be immersed in the “I Do’s” of God’s love, seriously consider becoming a student at Northeastern Seminary.
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Glen Dornsife, M.Div. student