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Just Up Ahead

Just Up Ahead

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 – Week of 2 Christmas, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 117, 118 (morning) // 112, 113 (evening)

Exodus 17:1-7

Colossians 1:15-23

John 7:37-52

In some stages of our lives, we’re fortunate enough to experience God’s presence right be our side. The Psalmist this morning praises the God who is right beside him: “The Lord is at my side, therefore I will not fear . . . The Lord is at my side to help me.” The Christmas affirmation that God is right here with us may indeed still be fresh in our lives.

Yet at other times, God’s accompaniment is not so clearly felt. In today’s first reading, God’s people quarrel and ask, “Is the Lord among us or not?” They’ve been journeying through the wilderness, and they’re stuck at a campsite without water. God doesn’t appear to be with them, so where could God possibly be?

As God’s people take their journey, God is sometimes just a step or a stage or two ahead. When Moses asks for help, the Lord advises him to “Go on ahead of the people.” He assures Moses, “I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb.” Moses will be able to strike that rock, and water will come out for the people to drink.

If Moses just goes on ahead, he’ll find God standing right there in front of him. Similarly, our reading from the letter to the Colossians emphasizes Christ’s position way up ahead: “He himself is before all things . . . he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.”

Christ is the image of the God who is just ahead of us, calling to us and waiting on us. The God who wants to be present with us. So today, try taking just a few more steps forward. God may be there waiting for you.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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