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Continuity and Fluidity

(Numbers 9:15-end; 1 Corinthians 7:17-24) “Whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, then the Israelites would set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the Israelites would camp. At the command of the Lord the Israelites would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp.” Any number of times the Old Testament passage tells us this same thing. That it was at the command of the Lord, indicated by the movement of the cloudy presence, that the Israelites set out from Sinai on their journey to the promised land; and that it was at the command of the Lord, indicated by the resting of the cloud, that they ceased from their journey and waited. Travelling and rest

The Holiness of Murky Water

(Luke 3.15-17, 21-22 ) Some years ago, a friend went on holiday to Jerusalem. He brought me back a memento – it was an old lemon-squash bottle, half-full of murky fluid. I asked what it was, and he solemnly told me that he’d brought me water from the River Jordan. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with it. He warned me not to drink it - apparently the river is so polluted that the tourist board recommends that no more people should be baptised in it. Immersed What made this water special enough for my friend to cart it all the way back for me? Speculations abound. Ancient tradition holds that because Jesus was immersed in the Jordan, that this river’s water is transformed and made holy