A recurring theme in the Bible is exile.
Through multiple books of the Bible, we read about the Jews being exiled through many passages of time. Perhaps the first exile could be attributed to Adam and Eve being exiled from the Garden of Eden. Later the Jews wander for forty years in the desert after leaving Egypt. Again, later in the Old Testament, they are exiled to Babylon as the political situations fluctuate about them.
Later in the New Testament, Jesus and his family are exiled to Egypt during Jesus’ childhood to avoid the murderous intent of Herod. Then, as we read through Jesus’ life and ministry, we recognize Jesus’ symbolic exile from Jerusalem to Nazareth. When he later enters Jerusalem triumphant on a donkey (Palm Sunday), we know he will be hanging on a cross in thirty days.
What does “exile” mean to us?
Webster essentially defines “exile” as a separation from one’s country or native land for political or punitive reasons, but I believe that exile is much more than just a physical separation. The emotional exile from those we love is much deeper; our spiritual exile from God is indescribable.
The question we must ask ourselves is: is our spiritual exile self imposed? Have we chosen to turn away from reflection, meditation and a relationship with God? Does it matter enough to make changes and to seek God out?
Being in exile means we are in limbo. As the Israelites wandered through the desert for decades, so we will wander until we find ourselves in a spiritual “home”.
The truth is–we don’t need to live our lives this way. We can reach out, we can return.
Do we want to live in limbo? Do we want to wander through life, exiled from what we believe in? There is no reason to remain this way. The Israelite’s exile was partially because old covenant, but we have a new covenant in Christ and that is what Lent and Easter is about!
Grace and forgiveness! There is no need to remain in exile anymore.
DAILY PRAYER: LORD, if I have wandered from you, bring me back to your light and grace. If I have an unsure of my path, show me your presence and your glory. Amen.