Week of 2 Easter, 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 119:1-24 (morning) // 12, 13, 14 (evening)
1 Peter 2:1-10
The bulk of today’s first reading is about thirst and hunger. As the people wander in the wilderness, they find water that is undrinkably bitter, and they fantasize about returning to slavery in Egypt rather than starving in the desert. Fortunately, God show Moses a piece of wood that transforms the water into something the people can drink, and God promises to rain down bread on all of the hungry people. Yet in between these episodes of quenching thirst and sating hunger, there emerges an oasis that might be hard to miss: “They came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they camped there by the water.”
I wonder why the people didn’t just stop there! In the very next verse, they move on. They clearly had a sense that the Land of Promise was elsewhere, and I guess they couldn’t live off of fresh spring water and palm fruit forever. But this place of encampment called Elim deserves to be lingered over a bit longer. If we read this passage too quickly, we simply leap from thirst to hunger.
Although it might be easy to overlook or rush through it, perhaps there’s an oasis waiting for us somewhere today. Something lavish, somewhere tranquil, someone refreshing. If we find our oasis, I hope we let it nourish us, and give our thanks for it, right in the midst of the wanderings and needs that claim so much of our lives.
Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with education, young adult ministry, and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.