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Lenten Devotional – March 14, 2020

Tara Hogan Exodus 16:27:35; John 4:1-6; Psalm 95 

The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan. 

Exodus 16:35 

O come, let us worship and bow down, 

let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 

For he is our God, 

and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice! 

Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness. 

Psalm 95:6-8 

As part of the congregational discernment begun in January, some of us have been meditating on the state of liminality, which comes from the Latin word for “threshold.” Liminality describes an in-between time, where something has ended and a new thing has not yet begun. Susan Beaumont, the author of the book How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going , gives, as a Scriptural example, the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness as a Scriptural example of liminality. 

My desire is to know, and understand the whole picture of what God is doing, preferably laid out before me in a linear and organized fashion. I certainly don’t want to wait 40 years for things to become clear and arrive in a new place. The story of the Israelites tells us that the people did not know they would be in the desert as long as they were; they weren’t necessarily happy with Moses leading them, only to be stuck in the desert, away from a situation they knew wasn’t great, but at least had the security of familiarity. And I am intrigued that God provided manna to sustain the Israelites during this extended time of wandering and confusion. I am grateful for the gift of Scripture that offers me wisdom and guidance in times of wandering and uncertainty. 

What is the manna that sustains you in times of wandering? How are you listening to God’s voice today?

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