Thursday, January 05, 2006

Cast into the deep

Today's Daily Office includes readings from Jonah and Exodus.

The chariots of Pharoah and his army has he hurled into the sea the finest of
those who bear armor have been drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep
has overwhelmed them; *they sank into the depths like a stone. (Exodus 15)

You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood
surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, “I
am driven away from your sight; how shall I look again upon your holy temple?”
The waters closed in over me; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped around
my head at the roots of the mountains. (Jonah 2)

Jonah experienced the same terror as Pharaoh's army. The experience, viewed from without and even, largely, from within... was the same. Overwhelming, dark, stifling. Yet, Jonah still hopes in and praises God. Therein, his experience is different even before he is manifestly rescued.

I called to the Lord out of my distress,and he answered me; out of the belly
of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.

As my life was ebbing away, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to
you, into your holy temple.


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