Scripture Focus: Exodus 40:1-2, 33-38
1 Then the Lord said to Moses: 2 “Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month.
33 …And so Moses finished the work. 34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.
Reflection: Exodus Terminus
By Erin Newton
This chapter marks the end of an era and the dawn of a new life. Exodus has taken us on the journey of battered people through their healing and restoration. It has been a story of pain and suffering mixed with moments of joy and bewilderment. It has been everything except for easy.
Exodus began with the fall of God’s people from their favored position in Egypt. It ends with meeting God face to face.
The first sounds to break upon the book were the venomous commands to kill the seed of the people, the infant boys. The final sound is the voice of God promising access to his presence for all generations.
The pained and tortured voices of God’s enslaved children rose to the ears of God. “God of our fathers, deliver us!” Freed, dwelling together in the wilderness, God whispers tenderly to them, “Follow me.”
The sun rises on the banks of the Nile where one faithful mother placed the fate of her child in a basket, an ark upon the water. The sun sets in Exodus upon the family of Moses, washed in the water of purification, ready to meet God.
Exodus followed the life of a man, chosen by God to save the people from bondage. It ends with the picture of priests, ready to intercede on their behalf.
Salvation did not come without trial or tribulation. Exodus closes with the God who sends signs and wonders upon Egypt leading his people to new life.
The entire story held its breath on the precipice of the Red Sea, fearing all hope would be swallowed by the watery depths. The next book will open on the edge of the Promised Land.
Exodus is a fascinating story of an epic hero and triumphant people. It is a story of nature turned upside down at the voice of God. It is a story of faith persevering. It is a story of approaching God—and living.
When we read the story of Exodus, we see many echoes of the life of Christ. His life is threatened from birth to final death. He brings the enslaved people to freedom. He passed through the waters of baptism and the dark shroud of death.
As we enter this next week of Eastertide, marvel at the image of salvation in Exodus and the reality of the true salvation we have in Christ.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Small Verse
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone. — Isaiah 9.1
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Exodus 40(Listen 4:07)
Luke 22(Listen 7:58)
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