Monday, April 30, 2007

Living (Mondays) as an Exile

Low energy.

Looking at the week ahead with a mixture of dread, angst, or apathy.

Looking back at the weekend that was, wondering how two & a half days could have slipped by so quickly.

It must be a Monday.

Mondays often leave us feeling like we're fish out of water.

And for people of faith, maybe it's even worse. If we spent the weekend with our church family, we sang the songs, we read the scripture, we prayed the prayers, we shook hands and exchanged smiles and hugs with people who CHOSE to be with us.

Now Monday makes us feel like exiles. The next five days and forty plus hours of having someone tell us where to go and what to do and how long to do it.

Where do we go from here?

Ever notice how many of the prophets in the Bible are living in exile? Ever pay attention to the number of them that are speaking, their whole prophetic career to people living in a foreign land or strange culture? Dragged off to a place they don't want to be. Living in a situation they would have never chosen. And in the midst of that exile, God speaks and acts.

In the exilic tradition, Daniel's opening verses tell us he and his circle of friends are living in just such a situation. Their country was overrun by a foreign king (Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon). King Neb came in and hauled off slaves from Daniel's country.

In the new country, they were going to confront a dominant culture that was very different than theirs. The religion was different. The government was different. The priorities were different. The language was different. EVERYTHING was different...except that God was the same (though they would learn and interact with him in a different set of circumstances).

I wonder, do books such as Daniel have something to say to us? I think so...ESPECIALLY on a Monday.

Grace & peace

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