Imagine that night has fallen. You have wandered deep into the wilderness and stars blanket the sky so fully that you cannot easily pick out constellations. Before you is a fire circle beckoning to you with its warmth and light. Seated around the fire are faces both familiar and strange, inviting you to join them. There is a place open just for you. You realize that you are among family...a tribe, in fact. This tribe is on a journey. You learn that it is around this fire circle, in the dark of night, that stories will be shared, histories will be passed down, and your identity as a member of this tribe will come to be fully known. You are comforted by the warmth of the fire and feel secure in its light. You trust.
Imagine further that as your eyes adjust to the darkness, you look beyond the fire and into the wilderness. You become aware of many more faces, more than you can count. Firelight dances on the faces of what must be tens of thousands of people…all gathered around one fire. But how could one fire cast its light on the faces of so many? You look into the fire, and then you look up…way up. This is no ordinary campfire. In fact, before you rises a pillar of fire. It reaches hundreds of feet into the air and spans an impressive width across the land. It is swirling, roaring, and burning so hot that you dare not approach too closely. You feel small and vulnerable next to the power and strength of the fire. You tremble.
Your journey is just beginning. You are venturing into the wilderness…uncharted territory. Your tribe surrounds you; and a God who offers warmth, security, power and strength is leading you. You could turn and face the darkness alone, but you choose to take your place by the Fire. You trust. You tremble. You embrace Faith by the Firelight.
Thank you for joining me on this journey into the wilderness of life. May we find illumination and transformation as we choose to follow the pillar of fire that God so lovingly provided in order that we would be led away from slavery and into freedom.
By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
- Exodus 13:21,22