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ALIVE is a book presented as a blog series about human life from its inception. It studies the purpose of life, the philosophy of life, and the difference between physical life and spiritual life. The book does this by delving into the relationship between humankind and its invisible but highly active and involved Creator.

Based on Biblical narrative ALIVE enters major events and fleshes them out. In so doing ALIVE makes discoveries about the origins and evolution of human life.

ALIVE combines imagination and scriptual accuracy to develop the themes of what it means to be much more than physically ALIVE. Although imaginative, ALIVE never contradicts Scripture. Enjoy and learn.

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This is a series of posts that make up a story describing the Year of The Church. The Church is The Bride of Christ who will be married to Him at The Wedding Feast of the Lamb as described in the Book of Revelations to John. The Wedding of Jesus Christ with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church occurs after the destruction of this old earth and the inauguration of the new earth, also known as The Land of Immortality. 

It is a tale of a cynical little angel that God sent to earth to learn about the mystical year of synchronic time and about His Betrothed.

My writing offers readers a fresh way of looking at and learning about orthodox Christianity.

The style is intended to help the mind and heart overcome old prejudices and awaken them to the Truth of God’s plan for the human-gods that were created in His image and likeness.

 

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This blog is for those who take the line in the Nicene Creed seriously that says, “I await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the ages to come.” That is the life immortal into which Jesus Christ will someday usher renewed humans. For centuries these people have been called Christians, and they are still called Christians, but since Christianity has become such a broad term and Christ said that the gate into immortal life is narrow and difficult to squeeze through, then perhaps those few serious people would be better identified as “Aspiring Immortals”.

 

This blog is a journal of just such an Aspiring Immortal. Through stories, poems, and journal entries I teach orthodox Christianity. I am not a religious rebel, instead I’d rather identify with GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, and my favorite Saints such as Francis of Assisi, Chrysostom, and Climacus whose vision and creativity have guided so many aspiring immortals through this earthly life.

 

A companion to this blog is my book entitled “The Immortal Life (TIL).” TIL teaches orthodox Christianity to those who want to know the reason for life and death, good and evil. TIL explains it all from the fall of mankind to the annihilation of this planet with a refreshing contemporary voice that is at times even funny.

 

We all work very hard to improve life on this planet for ourselves and for each other. And yet there is so much more life has to offer. Aspiring immortals are the salt of this earth and the substance of the next one.

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    Entries in Exodus (5)

    Wednesday
    Oct112017

    ALIVE: Chapter 57, Locusts

    After the hail subsided, even the angels Perambula and Gracefeld grew weary observing all that the transplanted Hebrews and the native Egyptians had to endure together with one calamity after another in a non-stop barrage of misery. No one was free to leave Egypt; everyone had to suffer not knowing what would come next to frighten or repulse them.

     

    “Gracefeld,”asked Perambula, “how are you managing to keep Pharaoh so stubborn through all this? I really thought that the hail had to be more than he could endure, knowing that it is in his power to relent and return to normalcy. His kingdom is utterly destroyed!”

     

    “It isn’t easy Perambula.”replied Gracefeld. “You see how many times Pharaoh weakened. Over and over I spoke through his heart, that surely the Hebrews would not return once they left. To have less than half of his workforce, and to be left with the least skillful builders would spell the end of his pyramid project. His own tomb could not be built. What is a Pharaoh without a tomb? Besides, I told him. No matter how bad it got, the Hebrew slaves would be the ones to clean it up and restore the fields.

     

    Then I tell him that he, not this Hebrew god, has ultimate authority. He loves that. To let the Israelites go would make him subservient to their magician of a god.”

     

    “Ooo Gracefeld! Did the Lord hear you say that?”

     

    “I don’t know.” said Gracefeld. “He didn’t say anything to me.

     

    Perambula, doesn’t it make you wonder why God has to cause so much pain and suffering to prove his greatness?”

     

    “No, not really.” replied Gracefeld. “Someday soon, the Israelites will need to remember these days. Besides, I imagine that to leave a destroyed country is easier than to leave a tidy country with their cozy beds behind them.

     

    They will need to know first and foremost that their God is almighty, that He has the power to destroy all that sustains them. Besides,” added Gracefeld, “their lives have been too comfortable. Now that they are such a large nation, it is time for God to completely extract them from their small world. Like a long lost Father, he wants to reintroduce himself and mold them. That will take much hard work on everyone’s part.”

    “Especially ours!”exclaimed Perambula. 

     

    “I believe you are correct. Enough chatting Perambula. We must prepare for the next calamity. Farewell.”

     

    The angels departed, one flew to the pharaoh and the other back to God for further instructions. Perambula found God speaking to Moses again.

     

    “Go to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials in order that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them-so you may know that I am the Lord.” 

     

    As instructed, Moses and Aaron returned to Pharaoh, with Perambula following closely, and Aaron said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. For if you refuse to let My people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country. They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They shall devour the last remnant left you after the hail, and they shall devour every tree of yours that grows in the field. They shall fill your houses, and the houses of your all officials and of all the Egyptians - something that neither your parents nor your grandparents have seen, from the day they came on earth to this day.’” When Aaron stopped speaking Moses turned and walked out with Aaron at his heels. Perambula and Gracefeld’s angel eyes met briefly to exchange a wide-eyed look before Perambula hurriedly followed the brothers out of the palace.

     

    Gracefeld stayed to hear Pharaoh’s officials say to him, “How long shall this fellow be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God; do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?”

     

    Before they reached the palace gates messengers were summoned to retrieve the brothers. When Moses and Aaron returned, Pharaoh said to them, “Go, worship the Lord your God! But which ones are to go?”

     

    Moses himself said loudly and slowly, “We will go with our young and our old; we will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, because we have the Lord’s festival to celebrate.”

     

    Gracefeld whispered to Pharaoh, “See! They mean to leave you forever, and then who will clean up this place? This city is in shambles,” Pharaoh paused to listen to his invisible angel, and then replied indignantly. “The Lord indeed will be with you if EVER I let your little ones go with you! Plainly you have some evil purpose in mind. No, never! Your men may go and worship the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” Pharaoh gave the sign to his guards to escort the brothers out of the palace. Within moments they were gone, leaving Pharaoh to brace himself for the next event.

     

    As if returning home from a typical day at work, Moses and Aaron walked out of the palace and back to their favorite spot on the hill in silence.

     

    The Lord had been waiting for their arrival. He said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt, so that the locusts may come upon it and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.”

     

    Moses obediently stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night; when morning came, the east wind had brought the locusts. The locusts came upon all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never before, nor ever shall be again. They covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was black; and they ate all the plants of the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left; nothing green was left, no tree, no plant in the field remained in all the land of Egypt. This time even Goshen was a swarm of devastating locusts. Man, woman and child, rushed into their homes and shut their doors tight. Window openings were covered to keep as many locusts out as possible. Screeches  and shouts reverberated throughout every building. The inside air grew thick and stuffy. It was hard to breath. The people’s hunger was gradually turning to starvation. Locust appeared everywhere as if they could pass through the walls. 

     

    It was as bad at the palace as it was in the hut. Pharaoh hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron who were both quick to heed the request of Pharaoh’s messenger. The men crushed locusts with every step of their giant feet, as the streets were coated in swarming bugs who loud humming wings were deafening to the ears.

     

    No sooner had the brothers entered the throne room than Pharaoh said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. Do forgive my sin just this once and pray to the Lord your God that at least He remove this deadly thing from me.” Perambula looked over at Gracefeld with a look that said, “Is this IT?!” 

     

    Moses and Aaron turned and walked out. There was nothing more to say. They went directly to their hill and prayed to the Lord who immediately changed the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt.  No one before, and no one since has ever received such instant response to a prayer as when Moses asked God to remove the locusts. The devastation was more than anyone could bear. 

     

    Gracefeld was given orders that it was still not enough. He would have to try harder to stiffen Pharaoh’s resolve in spite of the hunger and devastation. Gracefeld thought and thought of how he could turn this ship around again. “Oh Great Pharaoh,” said Gracefeld, “would you cave to the orders of a mere Hebrew, the false brother that so often stole the affection of your father? What will your son think of you, the great Pharaoh being tossed by the wind like a mere locust? No, this is a matter of dignity. The Hebrews must remain and restore your land that their god destroyed.” 

     

    Success! Pharaoh soon announced his reversal. NO! He would NOT let the Israelites go, after all. Not even after the locusts.

    Sunday
    Oct012017

    ALIVE: Chapter 56, Oh Hail!

    Miriam lay sleepless in the quiet darkness of the night. Thoughts that poured into her mind clashed with each other, taking turns for flashes of attention before dissolving. She felt the earth tremble under her.  She sensed the pain and suffering of her Egyptian neighbors while all was calm and peaceful in Goshen. They were still in Egypt, and yet they weren't. Her world was transformed daily while she remained fixed in her familiar home. She was confused and yet thrilled. Within a square mile existed both heaven and hell, peace and torment. "How bizarre," she thought, "for the most degraded of peoples to suddenly be the reason for calamity, like sweet revenge. Who is this God of ours?"

    Miriam had no one with whom to share these thoughts. Sepphora, being a foreigner, was a relatively free woman since the strangling hand of Pharaoh did not reach as far as Midian, Sepphora would not understand the magnitude of what was happening and Aaron was wrapped-up in his new role as spokesman and super-magician. Her neighbors were too busy with chores and forced labor to discuss how they felt about the series of calamities.

    While trying to fall asleep, she thought back to when she began to feel so unsettled. Was it when the calamities started, when the Nile turned bloody and the frogs and those horrible gnats appeared everywhere? She must have swallowed a cupful before they suddenly disappeared. No, oddly enough, she thinks she was most unsettled when the calamities happened to the Egyptians and not to the Jews. Who is this God?

    All her adult life, Miriam wanted to escape her captors, the pharaohs with their demands, but she wondered what this God would demand of her? Were they being set free, only to be flung into the clutches of a vastly more powerful tyrant? All her life Miriam made idols and worshipped them and prayed to them. She was in control of these gods made with hands. She placed her hopes onto these figurines. Sometimes they would grant her wishes and sometimes they didn't. But they never did anything on their own that she knew of, and they certainly never controlled nature like this. How could she love and trust this mega-powerful God of Israel Who spoke to her brother Moses, and wreaked havoc? 

    Before Moses came back into her life she only thought of God when she was being mistreated. For the most part, it was the menfolk who were the forced laborers. The women did the work they would have always done anywhere, raise the children, cook and clean. This was the kind of life no woman could escape, except prostitutes, and they had their own, worse and perverted forced labor.

    Perambula who was wafting through the house read the thoughts of Miriam and felt saddened. These people, these slaves of Pharaoh are so precious to God while they knew so very little about Him. Slavery and living among their oppressors stifled not only their freedom to assemble, and to fill their days, but their awareness of God. The concept of gods made by human hands, was too much for Perambula to bear.

    Trying to recall everything she knew about this God, everything her mother taught her, Miriam drifted into a deep refreshing slumber. She woke up before daybreak as usual, lit  the fire and was about to bake the bread-dough that had been rising all night.

    Aaron entered. “Good morning sister. Ahh fresh bread this morning!”

    “Miriam looked up and said with a hint of sarcasm, “What does our God have planned for us today?”

    Aaron replied, “I don't know. He just tells Moses before it is about to happen.” And then tossed a fig from the bowl into his mouth.

    Just then Moses enetered the room and said, “Come Aaron, let's go back.”

    “I’m ready.” replied Aaron enthusiastically and gave his sister a peck on the cheek and rushed out to catch up with Moses.

    In the middle of the night Moses had been awakened by the need to urinate. Back in bed, while trying to fall asleep again, the Lord spoke. He said, “Rise up early and present yourself before Pharaoh, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and upon your officials, and upon your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.

    By now I could have stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But this is why I have let you live: to show my power, and to make My name resound through all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against My people and will not let them go. Tomorrow at this time I will cause the heaviest hail to fall that has ever fallen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. Send, therefore and have your livestock and everything that you have in the open field brought to a secure place; every human or animal that stays in the open field and is not brought under shelter will die when the hail comes down upon them.”

    As they walked Moses was anxious to deliver this message. He tried hard to repeat everything God said to Aaron in his garbled way while they walked to the palace. Aaron was made for this role. He remembered every word that Moses relayed to him, and never questioned or argued with the message.

    Moses and Aaron arrived at the palace, walked in, delivered their message to Pharaoh and his officials who had just arrived for the day's duties. At this latest message Pharaoh appeared dumbfounded. The timbre of Aaron’s voice was so clear and had such authority for a pitiful peasant, that Pharaoh had no response. His magicians had been reprimanded so severely that they hadn’t shown their faces in over a week. Moses and Aaron promptly departed. The officials followed close behind them.

    Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried their slaves and livestock off to a secure place. Those who did not regard the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the open field. On the way back home, Moses and Aaron returned to their favorite spot in the hilltop in Goshen to listen for further  instructions. Before long, the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that hail may fall on the whole land of Egypt."

    Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; there was haiI with fire flashing continually in the midst of it, such heavy hail as had never fallen in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. The hail struck down everything that was in the open field throughout all the land of Egypt, both human and animal; the hail also struck down all the plants of the field, and shattered every tree in the field.

    Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were, there was no hail. From their perch on the hill, Moses and Aaron could see the clouds ejaculating onto the neighborhoods in the distance.

    On their way home a band of locals approached Aaron and asked what was going on. He reported the news about the hail. Some of the men were astonished while one or two others chuckled.

    While the family was eating supper they were suddenly startled by a loud forceful knock on the door. Eliezer got up to answer it. It was no surprise to anyone to find a messenger from the palace who had come to summon Moses and Aaron.  The messenger, not much older than Eliezer, was drenched and bedraggled. Eliezer asked him to join in the meal and the Egyptian boy gladly accepted.

    After supper everyone stood up to leave for the palace. Miriam said, “Don’t you think you should find something to shield yourselves from the hail?”

    “Good idea!” said Aaron.

    “Indeed!” added the messenger boy.

    Miriam looked around the house and decided to let them take her platters to deflect the watery bullets.

    “We must be going now,” said the messenger. “Pharaoh will be furious that I have delayed.

    The brothers agreed and followed the young messenger out of their dry cozy home.

    As they made the familiar trek to the palace it was interesting to note how gradually the driving hail progressed from light rain to thousands of tiny bullets as they approached the palace. They used Miriam’s platters to shield their faces, especially their eyes from the driving hail so they could see where they were going.

    As they passed a field the brothers saw that the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in the bud. But the wheat and spelt were not ruined, for they were late in coming up. It was a tragic sight. Their walked turned into a jog. The streets were empty. Even the animals were sheltered, some in barns and others in homes.

    When they arrived at the palace drenched and dripping they were given towels to dry themselves and then the brothers proceeded to the throne room.

    Pharaoh had been waiting for them on his throne. Without a greeting, Pharaoh looked down at the marble floor and said meekly, as if he was about to choke on his words, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to the Lord. Enough of God’s thunder and hail! I will let you go; you need stay no longer.”

    Moses replied “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. But as for you and your officials, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.”

    “Be gone!” shouted Pharaoh forcefully. He had been humiliated enough and didn’t need these peasants to tell him whether he feared God or not.

    Aaron and Moses left the palace with the platters deflecting the hail that would have stabbed their faces mercilessly. It would have been impossible to look up to the heavens under those conditions.

    When they arrived at the first spot where there was no more hail, Moses stretched out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured down on the earth. Moses listened to hear the cheers of the people he saw in the distance venturing out of their homes.

    Back at the palace, when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and thunder had ceased, he sinned once more and hardened his heart, he and his officials. He no longer saw a reason to lose his labor force, and once again changed his mind. So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.

    Wednesday
    Jun082011

    Our Turn

    Last Thursday, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, ascended to God His Father after His great mission on earth to reverse the separation between humanity and its Creator caused by our friend Eve, and her husband Adam. Jesus went back home to heaven from where He came. Apostle John told us this in his Gospel when he wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

    The time between Easter and the Ascension, when Jesus walked on earth in His new body is spectacular. There are only 11 sightings of Him. We know He ate food and walked through walls: two very fun things to do. It is said that He was showing us what our immortals bodies will be like. I’m so glad we will still be able to eat! “Thanks God!”

    Finally one Thursday, because the powerful 40 day time period had passed, as it did when He was in the wilderness being tempted, as it did when Moses visited God on Mt. Sinai, as it did when Noah was in the ark, and the 40 year Exodus, and the 40 years of David’s reign; when the 40 days had passed, Jesus was ready, willing, and able to go Home.

    It was no longer useful to God to have Jesus walking around His beloved planet Earth because His mission was accomplished. Besides, one man, as divine as He was, could only do so much. God, the Father, would replace Jesus with His own Holy Spirit.

    Miracles are not enough, and never were, to restore the relationship between God and those whom He made in His image and likeness: that’s us aspiring immortals, His children, and His creation called mankind. Miracles are a good start, but only a start.

    So that we could follow Jesus’ ascension to heaven, to God the Father in the presence of the host of angels, we need the Holy Spirit to guide us, and teach us, and heal, and comfort us.

    In these days between Ascension and Pentecost, we experience in our souls, those receptors of God’s communication with us, the mysterious period of time when neither Jesus is here, nor has the Holy Spirit been sent. It is an empty time of loss and anticipation. Stop, think, and feel.

    To experience through the imagination, is no less an experience. It is replete with sensory information that can be quite valuable to our formation as true children of God. In this ten-day period between the ascension and Pentecost, let us take some time to look around at a world with only the memory of Jesus and His amazing mission and His spectacular ascension. Let us anticipate something we could never imagine in our wildest dreams. God, the Holy Spirit will come to dwell within our bodies and minds one person at a time. If we can imagine what it is like to live without that aid, then perhaps when the time comes, we will be able to perceive the presence of the Spirit within and be in a perfect position to have our own ascension to the Father. Follow the Leader.

    Thursday
    Mar052009

    Exodus II Explained

    Anyone who has read the Bible cover-to-cover will probably have noted the number of times the Exodus Story was retold. Over and over again God reminds His people that they were miraculously freed from bondage. “Never forget; tell your children; do this every year as a reminder of how the Lord your God freed you from the bondage of Pharaoh’s Egypt.” This emphasis was applied neither to the miraculous creation story, nor to the great story of Abraham and his sons, and not even to the shocking story of the purging of mankind on earth except for Noah and his zoo-ark. All of these events and many more are at least as significant as the one about the brave man, Moses, with a magic stick releasing a few thousand slaves from their master’s stronghold. And yet, it is the Exodus alone that is commemorated annually in Passover fasts and over and over again in the Bible. Why is this?

    I suspect that it is because God wants humankind to renew the psychological/spiritual journey away from bondage and to be grateful for His power.

    The parallel is striking between the Exodus story of Moses leading the Jews away from Egypt and the story of Christ leading mankind away from sin and death. One group goes to the Promise Land, the other to the land of immortality. The relationship between the bondage of slavery and the bondage of sin is an old concept; however by overlaying the Exodus story onto the Christ story, the parallels are not only remarkable, they help us to see more clearly our plight as Christians. The physical Exodus is not so very different than the spiritual journey children of God must take to reach the promise of a land where we will live absolutely free from war, illness, poverty, and want. The Promise Land is still being held out for us and we still must move from one place to another to be there.

    This physical/spiritual Exodus is best reconstructed during Great Lent when each day can represent one year of travel. And yet this journey does not end with the crucifixion, it begins with it and ends with the Resurrection where we can find ourselves right smack in the middle of the Promise Land of immortality. Forty years in forty days about forty hours. Never forget that God set you free and that you have somewhere to go. I hope you will continue to be with me on this journey. We have surprises in store for you. 

    Wednesday
    Mar042009

    Exodus II

    We have been walking away from Egypt for days now. It is hard to believe that we are finally free. I don’t suppose we really know what that means yet; someday we will. At least I hope I will. Ben, Asa, and Zeporah have formed a marching cluster along with Linda, Richard, and their children. Like most of us, I am in a daze walking quietly and thinking about what just happened.

    God has appeared as a spirit cloud, a pillar of holy fire leading us to His Kingdom, His Promise Land of immortality. We are told that it is a land that flows with milk and honey, a land of peace. To be honest such a land, I can’t imagine. So I walk and I think about the days of miracles before the son, the son of Pharaoh died and we were released from bondage.

    It all began when the man of God showed that he had power over the serpent. He had a rod that turned into a snake when he placed it on the ground. But when he picked it up it was a rod again! And even when the serpent tried to lure him by offering to turn stones to bread, or offer him all the kingdoms of the world the man of God simply grabbed that serpent by the tail and turned it into a tool. That is what I call power over evil.

    The next thing that happened, if I can remember correctly is that water turned to blood, or was it water turned to wine. I don’t remember which, but it was the first real miracle. The villagers chattered about it for days. That man of God he knew how to get attention, he did.

    After that, he healed people right and left from all that could hurt them even biting ants and blood sucking gadflies. People were hurt, people were healed.

    Then he, that miracle-making man of God turned to what matters to most of us, our stomachs! First, he did something that killed all the livestock then he fed thousands on bread and fish. That wasn’t the end of it. He proved that through God he even had power over nature. First, he stretched out his hand and hail fell from the heavens on humans and animals and on the whole land of Egypt and then such thunder as man has never heard. I thought I would go deaf. Thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth. It rained hail with fire flashing continually in the midst of it. I truly thought I would die. But with as much authority over nature he calmed the sea and even walked on it!

    As if that wasn’t frightening enough we lived through three days of darkness and then the son died. Now poof! Here we are walking away from the only world we ever knew. We can leave that world with our feet, but can we leave it with our minds and with our hearts? I don’t know; that will take a true transformation. Maybe that’s why this journey must take so long. This army, this people of God, need time to become the kind of people who can live free in the Promise Land.

    Oh! Where are we now? We stopped. Ah looks like we are camping by this sea tonight. I am ready to stop walking. My legs are sore. What is this I hear? The Egyptian army is coming after us! What will we do now? Be calm, God is with us. Let me run up to the front to see what is happening so I can tell you. There he is, the man of God. I see him lift up his hands. You will never believe this but the sea is parting! It is time to march again. Here we go. The cloud is leading us through the sea but on dry land. I hear a sound from heaven, a mighty wind. The pillar of fire has dispersed and there is a tongue of fire on each one of us as we walk. All around me I see us pilgrims with tongues of fire over our heads marching through a corridor of water. Solemnly we trudge through mud: man, woman and child hearts absorbing a new and Holy Spirit.

    Whew! We are on the other side now. Is everyone here? Yes. Look! The sea has closed up and swallowed our enemy, Saul. There is no turning back now. Onward compatriots, to the new world!