Stand off or draw near


Stand off or draw near: That's a pretty good synopsis of what is before you now.

God time stamps 3 big events for this month:

  • The encounter and covenant at Mt. Sinai.

  • The celebration of Shavuot (known as Pentecost)

  • The encounter, filling, and empowering by the Spirit in Jerusalem.

Big picture: This is the month to move from 'leaving' to 'cleaving.' Israel was sprung from Egypt, but they had not moved into the deeper waters with God. He moved them from released to gathered; from freed to focused; from leaving to cleaving.

And, oh by the way...That pretty much scared the living snot out of them. The intimacy and connection can evoke that reaction. Most are grateful to be free - just not sure they want to get that close to the fierce One who made it possible. 'Leaving' is always just the beginning - cleaving remains yet often remains undone.

If you think the 'leave, cleave, become one' is only a marriage thing, think again. Paul tells us it embodies the mysterious relationship of Christ to us as the Ekklesia. And that 3-fold process is never a one-and-done thing. (As anyone who's been married a while knows.) There are always more layers we need leave, so we may cleave and become one.

We see it again when we shift from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Zion (Jerusalem) - same month, different year, same dynamic. The gathered disciples had done the 'leaving.' But when the tangible, manifest Presence of God engaged them, 'cleaving' was next. And of those who witnessed it all, this dynamic again: Some drew near, some stood off.

How we respond this month is more than about us as individuals. Prominent rabbis will tell you that Israel, as a nation, was formed in this month - then and there at Sinai. Theologians and historians will tell you that the church was formed in this month, then and there on Pentecost. So what might God be up to with us, here and now - His motley crew, His treasured possession, a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation?

There were fierce winds that blew on both those encounters: A sign of His Power and Presence. Those winds blow today and require a response. Be mindful, that these are 'fresh' winds. For the manner He moved then and there, will likely not look the same in the here and now. Stephen Replay of this Deck teaching, click here.

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