Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

Is God really in our midst or not? Is God really here among us right now or not? Sometimes, we ask that question in moments of great distress when we have suffered some terrible tragedy or we have fallen away from God in some way. We wonder, Is God really with us? How could this have happened?

That’s what was taking place in the first lesson today, when those former slaves in Egypt were trekking through the desert and found a place where they did not have water, and they were desperate. “Is God in our midst or not? Is God going to let us die here in the desert? Why would we ever leave Egypt if that’s the only reason — we come into the desert and we die of thirst?”

But there’s something strange about this, and it’s probably true of most of us, too. When everything’s going fine, when things are going along very smoothly, people don’t say, “Where is God? Why is this happening so fortunately in my life?” At that point, we don’t say, “Is God in our midst?” We take for granted all that God has given to us.

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