Pass the word to the other slaves. We leave Egypt tonight.
It's not exactly the same as then--they left together, millions of them. No one left with me today. And yet the leaving is the same however you do it. You have to leave. Today I removed my name from fellowship in Egypt--the local church.
Leaving Egypt-Passover--John called it following the lamb withersoever He goeth. Where am I going? I don't' know exactly--He is in charge. I only know I must go. I follow after.
And yet I know that I am not alone. All true Jews must leave Egypt and follow Him. We just don't do it in a geographical group this time. God looks around the world and notices how it works, "Where two or three are gathered together" It might not get much larger than that. Smaller perhaps.
What does it mean--leave my congregation? It's what anyone would do if he were not stuck in the everydayness of his own life-Egypt-standard procedure. It's not for me. I feel as if I were just cast off on a strange island. It's invigorating, my eye casting about, looking around, examining everything. I look for footprints, edible plants, sails in the distance, shelter. Am I alone? One thing becomes clear-- I am alive. One other thing--not to be here is despair. Nothing could draw me back into that. Alone? No matter. It's the quickening. The search has begun.
Tonight will be different from all other nights. Tonight, like all other searchers, we quit Egypt. Not as ritual. Not pretend quit. We are leaving. Not as if for the first time, but for the first time. All things are become new.
The tyranny of time and place is now broken. Truth is not past or future--it is now. The death grip of everydayness, broken. The malaise of Egypt left behind--a malaise in which I existed and of which I was so unaware. I awaken. Stale custom now has no hold on me. Its familiar demand--of no effect. I am free.
Tonight is the watchnight, the night every slave people wait for. It is the full moon, the 14th of Nissan. Tonight we go.
How did I know to leave? What made me awaken, aware of my death? How did I notice the stupor that had me so enchanted? How it happened doesn't matter, just that it did. I see clues here and there along the way. Guide posts they are. I follow them. When I see a sign left for me, my senses respond. I crave their knowledge.
What direction do I have? Why, one of the most powerful commands ever given. What light do I see? Nothing less than the light that lights the whole earth with His glory. How can I miss it-Come out of her My people. When I find one of His, I know him. We have oneness. A oneness that cannot be missed. I am acutely aware of His own. A man who in his heart of hearts does not allow for such a thing, will notice nothing. The malaise has him. But I am like Robinson Crusoe, awake after years of sleep, coming upon a footprint in wet sand. I am not alone--He is here.
I realize now for the first time, I am exiled. Not like exiled, but truly so. Exiled from the land of unknowingness. I come from that land and shall never return. Inhabitants there know that I no longer belong. Oh, they are aware that others like me exist, but there is nothing to be done about it except to warn each other of us. They must protect Egypt, the clueless fog of everydayness that they love. They challenge God: Where is Your sight-You do not see what we do. Where is your power God-You cannot be moved to action against us?
Does God notice? Does He have an answer for them? Yes. God points to His people, two or three here and there--all over the world, at least one hundred and forty four thousand strong --the called out ones who do not fit into any of the local congregations.
By all the laws of history, we should have disappeared centuries, eons ago, with the Canaanites and Jebusites, disappeared with those of whom we are no longer even sure of their names. Well, we are here and Pharaoh, tonight we leave Egypt. Pass it on.
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